ST. PAUL, Minn. — -(AmmoLand.com)- In response to flooding throughout Minnesota and surrounding states, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) urges federal firearms and explosives licensees and permittees to have a plan in place to secure their firearms/explosives inventories and records should flooding affect their area.
ATF issued a special weather advisory alert to federal firearms and explosives licensees and permittees yesterday warning them of National Weather Service – Twin Cities flood warnings and urging them to protect their inventory and records. The message went out via automated telephone calls to licensees in the projected flood areas.
“It’s important that federal firearms and explosives licensees protect their inventories and records to prevent damage, loss or potential theft,” said ATF Public Affairs Specialist Ashlee Sherrill, of the St. Paul Field Division. “We encourage licensees to have a plan in place in advance of any natural disaster so that if evacuation is necessary, they can focus on their personal safety and the safety of their families, friends and neighbors, rather than scramble to protect their inventories and records.
“We want to ensure the safety of our licensees and the safety of the surrounding communities,” Sherrill continued. “Leaving firearms and explosives inventories unsecured presents unnecessary risk and could potentially place these regulated items in the hands of criminals. Losing valuable records severely impacts reconciliation after such thefts.”
The special alerts went out to the following areas:
- Red river and tributaries – Cass, Grand Forks, Pembina, Ransom, Richland, Traill and Walsh Counties (ND), Clay, Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk and Wilkin Counties (MN)
- Mississippi River and Tributaries – Goodhue, Houston, Wabasha, and Winona Counties (MN) Pierce County (WI)
- Minnesota-Cottonwood Rivers and Tributaries – Blue Earth, Brown, Dakota, LeSueur, Nicolett, Renville, and Sibley Counties (MN)
“Unfortunately,” Sherrill added, “due to the flood waters rising so fast, we were unable to get this special alert to areas which may already be affected by flooding, but we plan to monitor the situation and continue to send out alerts as needed.”
Licensees who have already experienced flood damage, theft or attempted theft should contact ATF at 800-800-3855, a 24-hour hotline, to report their situation. Those who do not have a plan in place should visit the ATF website (Disaster Preparedness Pamphlets: Firearms, Explosives) for ideas and things to consider when putting together emergency plans.
ATF protects the public from crimes involving firearms, explosives, arson, and the diversion of alcohol and tobacco products; regulates lawful commerce in firearms and explosives; and provides worldwide support to law enforcement, public safety, and industry partners. More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.