WASHINGTON, Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) today is commending U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) introduction of S.1854, the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2017, which will strengthen the criminal penalties for thefts of firearms from retailers and impose mandatory minimum sentences.
"Thefts from federally licensed firearms retailers represent particularly brazen offenses that hold potential for additional crime when stolen guns are sold on the street," said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. "The Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act is a significant reinforcement of our federal laws to help deter both first-time and repeat violators and to ensure those convicted of these crimes serve serious time. We thank Senator Graham for his leadership to help make America safer."
Sen. Graham's proposed legislation would impose a minimum sentence for a successful conviction of not less than three years for burglary and five years for robbery.
The bill gained the support of Sens. John Boozman, (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jim Risch, (R-Idaho) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.).
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reported a 48 percent increase in the number of burglaries and a 175 percent in the number of robberies over the past five years. In 2016, about 7,758 firearms were stolen from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in burglaries and robberies.
The firearms industry through NSSF is an active partner in helping to reduce thefts and aiding ATF in identifying those involved in these crimes. As part of Operation Secure Store, NSSF helps educate FFLs on steps they can take to reduce theft. NSSF, in cooperation with ATF, also conducts retailer store security seminars, assists retailers with store security audits, and encourages the use of methods and technologies to reduce the likelihood firearms will be stolen. NSSF also continues to match ATF reward offers for information that leads to the arrest of criminals responsible for thefts from FFLs.