06/09/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/09/2023 15:53
WASHINGTON - Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the committee's ranking member, in reintroducing the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act of 2023. The bill aims to address "smash-and-grab" thefts by increasing legal consequences for criminals who steal firearms from federally licensed dealers.
"Not only is firearms theft a crime, but it's also a threat to public safety and an affront to the Second Amendment," Grassley said. "Our bill backs the licensed businesses and gun owners who follow the law by stiffening penalties for people who steal or attempt to steal firearms."
"I am proud to reintroduce this important legislation to make 'smash-and-grabs' more costly for criminals, especially when crime is rising under the Biden Administration. I believe in responsible gun ownership - not criminals stealing firearms," Graham said.
Specifically, the FFL Protection Act of 2023 would:
Increase from 10 to 20 years the statutory maximum penalty for knowingly stealing any firearm in an FFL business inventory;
Impose a mandatory minimum sentence of three years for burglary from an FFL and five years for robbery; and
Criminalize the attempted theft of a firearm from a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or collector.
Along with Grassley and Graham, the bill is sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.).
Grassley has been vocal regarding Democrats' efforts to stem crime rates using gun control tactics rather than by assessing policy contributors; the FFL Protection Act is a legislative solution that protects Americans' right to bear arms, while combating gun theft crimes. Last Congress, Grassley expressed concern the ATF may be focused on shuttering legally operating firearms dealers upon receiving reports Iowa businesses were forced to forfeit their FFLs over minor paperwork mistakes.