Why, it’s so crazy, it just might work!
Over and over, American gun owners and our lobbying groups have insisted that we don’t need new gun laws, we just need to actively enforce our existing ones. Over and over, American gun sellers and their lobbying groups have insisted that they are doing their part by denying obvious straw sales and bolstering their own security; they just need official backup in the form of real criminal penalties. After all, if as an FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee, a.k.a., a gun seller) you’re reporting theft and denied sales only to see that there’s no legal followup for the would-be criminal. Interestingly, it seems some Congresscritters agree…and they’re coming in from both sides of the aisle.
It starts with U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb’s (D-Pa.) introduction of H.R. 3252, the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act. The bipartisan bill would strengthen and enhance criminal penalties for thefts of firearms from federally licensed firearm retailers. It sends a strong message to those violent criminals engaging in these illicit activities and helps provide for safer communities, assists law enforcement and protects firearm retailers.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the lobbying arm for America’s gun sellers, in much the same way the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association are for American gun owners. The NSSF and the gun sellers they represent have been working hard to “police themselves” for decades. NSSF has partnered with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on Operation Secure Store, an effort to end the theft of guns from sellers. As part of Operation Secure Store, NSSF matches ATF reward offers for information regarding these crimes that leads to the arrest and conviction of the criminals responsible and recovery of the stolen firearms. The Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act will strengthen and enhance the actual criminal penalties that these criminals will face.
The NSSF hasn’t waited for Congress before now, and they’ll keep going with or without H.R. 3252. Right now, NSSF helps educate firearm retailers on steps they can take to reduce the chance guns will be stolen from them during a burglary or robbery, and in cooperation with ATF, conducts retailer store security seminars, assists retailers with store security audits of their premises, and endorses and promotes the use of security products like smash resistant display cases.
“The bill sends the clear message that Congress will not tolerate criminals who victimize firearm retailers in order to further prey upon and threaten communities,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The firearm industry is grateful to Congressman Lamb and the bipartisan cosponsors for reaching across the aisle to provide those firearm retailers who follow the law the protection they deserve. We are further grateful that this legislation properly assigns the blame where it is warranted and tells criminals that Congress and the firearm industry will hold those committing crime responsible for their reprehensible actions.”
The FFL Protection Act was co-sponsored by Reps. John Rutherford (R-Fla.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.).
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