Below the Radar: Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2019

Second Amendment Activist Protest Activism Take Action
Second Amendment Activist Protest Activism Take Action

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- While many Second Amendment supporters look over how laws will affect them, the fact is gun laws don’t just hit gun owners. The Federal Firearms Licensees – the gun dealers and manufacturers – also can be targeted by legislation that can infringe on the Second Amendment, or which can help protect Second Amendment rights. One such piece of legislation that does the latter is S 1778, the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2019, introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham.

According to a release by Senator Graham’s office, the legislation is intended to address a rise in thefts from FFLs. In 2017, over 8,000 firearms were stolen in robberies and burglaries, per the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  The release from Graham’s office noted that in 2018, 193 firearms were stolen from South Carolina FFLs.

Currently, stolen firearms are addressed under various provisions of 18 USC 922. Under 18 USC 922(j), it is illegal to “receive, possess, conceal, store, barter, sell, or dispose of” any stolen firearm or ammunition. Under 18 USC 922(i), it is illegal to transport a stolen firearm across state lines. Under 18 USC 922(u), it is a federal crime to steal from an FFL. Graham’s legislation adds more teeth to 18 USC 922(u), which currently has a 10-year maximum sentence per 18 USC 924(i). Violations of 18 USC 922(i) and 18 USC 922(j) also have 10-year prison terms.

Under current law, a person who steals a dozen guns from a gun store in Indiana and takes the guns to Chicago to sell them could get up to 360 years in prison. Yet the release from Senator Graham’s office indicated there are 8,000 reasons that the current laws aren’t working.

Graham’s bill (co-sponsored by a number of other Second Amendment champions in the Senate) does two things: First, it ups the maximum sentence to 20 years in prison, not ten, for stealing from a FFL. Second, it also adds mandatory minimum sentences depending on whether the theft from the FFL is a burglary (three-year minimum) or a robbery (five-year minimum). In theory, these are good ideas. Tough sentences can be a deterrent, especially when word gets out about those who get hit with them. This was proven during Project Exile in Richmond, Virginia.

That said, as is the case with the STOP Straw Purchases Act, the question is whether these laws will actually be used. There is reason for Second Amendment supporters to believe these will be used. Between 2014 and 2018, ATF reported that there were 2,404 burglaries and 153 robberies of FFLs. According to the ATF, there were 1,075 indictments for stealing from FFLs between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2017.

Thefts from FFLs affect the entire Second Amendment community. The stolen guns are often taken to be misused in crimes, some of which end up as fodder for Bloomberg and his stooges. But theft from FFLs also hurts not just the FFLs (who are making a living in helping Americans exercise their Second Amendment rights), but also those who seek to exercise their rights by buying firearms for the purpose of defending themselves (or other lawful reasons).

Second Amendment supporters should take the time to contact their Representative and Senators and politely urge them to support this legislation. In addition, they should also take the time to send a thank-you note to Senator Graham and his co-sponsors for introducing legislation to address the literal theft of our ability to defend ourselves.


About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

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Will Flatt
Will Flatt
9 months ago

Harold drops the ball again!! LINDSEY GRAHAM IS A POS BACKSTABBING RINO whose only true motivation is political longevity!! He supports Trump because he knows that doing so will ingratiate himself to conservatives who may despise the things he does and supports that have nothing to do with conservative values and goals!! Granted, Graham may not be a NoName, or a Romney, Murkowski or Collins. Be he’s still a craven political opportunist. AND HE’S TAKEN ANTIGUN MONEY BEFORE AND HAS ON MANY OCCASIONS VIOLATED HIS OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION BY WRITING AND COSPONSORING BILLS THAT HELP CREATE A POLICE STATE… Read more »

TheRevelator
TheRevelator
9 months ago

Ok, here is another Article I have to call out Harold for being a lying dirtbag once again. Considering Harold has been an apologist for certain second amendment infringements in the past, I’d like to ask all of you to let your minds go back all the way to April of 2019. I know, its so long ago most wont remember. “Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham told BuzzFeed News he will start crafting legislation next week to expand police powers to preemptively seize firearms from people believed to be a danger to themselves or others.” ~BuzzfeedNews.com “I’m seeking to… Read more »

TheRevelator
TheRevelator
9 months ago
Reply to  TheRevelator

@USA

You’re not saying anything here I’m not already aware of. Just needed to call out Harold on it for trying to slip a fast one by others here.

TheRevelator
TheRevelator
9 months ago
Reply to  TheRevelator

@USA Except you’re not helping when you go into the more incredulous claims. For example, Noahide laws. For those uneducated on the subject, “Noahide” laws are the precursor to the 10 Commandments given to Moses, they were handed down orally to and through the sons of Noah according to Jewish tradition. And since much of our Constitution’s inherent principles were derived from the 10 Commandments and biblical beliefs it makes sense to understand exactly what we are talking about before continuing. That said, I must ask if you know the importance of Moses and how he is tied directly to… Read more »

Will Flatt
Will Flatt
9 months ago
Reply to  TheRevelator

I’m right there with you on calling out this weasel for who & what he is. Thanks for having a better memory than me, and for the link. Harold has no business writing for a major 2A news outlet if he’s going to peddle damned lies and promote the betrayal of gun owners by lionizing the enemies of gun rights and liberty as a whole. THAT is why I’m keeping the petition going at http://chng.it/nwrb2gvTKW Harold won’t get the hint till he’s dropped by Ammoland. He can still trying to peddle his lies and his support for proven enemies of… Read more »

donfranko
donfranko
9 months ago

I’m afraid I have to agree with most of the comments below. If they “could get 360 years” in prison, then WHY aren’t they. Laws already on the books are more than sufficient. Enforcement and prosecution is LACKING…

Degforyou
Degforyou
9 months ago

I didn’t have to read very far when I said to my self, Harold, scrolled down and guess what, I was right. NO NEW LAWS ARE NEEDED JUST ENFORCE ONES WE HAVE ALREADY! What is so hard to understand about this statement? Enforce the constitution is all that needs to be done.

Gindy
Gindy
9 months ago

I don’t think it would matter what Harold writes that you wouldn’t get irritated. Everything he writes pisses you off. How about when you see his name just don’t read the article? Then you’d be less irritated and may enjoy your day a little more. Just saying …………!

Gindy
Gindy
9 months ago
Reply to  Gindy

Why does anyone need to go away? Articles are written for several different reasons. Some just give basic information on what’s currently happening, and some give warnings on things on the horizon, and some are written as a call to arms. Everything indicates that you are pretty well read and have most likely read thousands of articles over time that either didn’t pertain to you or your activities and thousands of others articles that did. Either way you have most likely taken bits of information from them and moved ahead with little regard as to who wrote the article. Me… Read more »

Gindy
Gindy
9 months ago
Reply to  Gindy

Thanks! You too!

pedant
pedant
9 months ago

It is ludicrous to think that a penalty of 720 years in jail will work when a penalty of 360 years is failing. This is a lame attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of 2A supporters by a poor example of a sleezy politician

Knute
Knute
9 months ago
Reply to  pedant

But what about a million years? Or a billion? “There must be some number that will make people obey me!!!!”
So thinks every bean counter anyway. I guess when you spend an entire life counting beans, one comes to think humans are beans. So there is his reality disconnect. AKA: “insanity”.

Finnky
Finnky
9 months ago
Reply to  Knute

– What do you have against bean counters? In many ways, humans are like beans – viewing certain aspects of them that way makes dealing with life insurance far easier… Doesn’t mean that we don’t see individuals as well – or that we consider individual rights to be expendable. Besides, looking at statistics show that gun rights make us safer – and save on life insurance payouts since we’re not paying on gang bangers, but might for their intended targets.

M444ss
M444ss
9 months ago

A lot of irrational posts here. The “I won’t support anything unless I get everything” theme hasn’t helped us one bit. Not sure why you all think it will suddenly start working.

Finnky
Finnky
9 months ago
Reply to  M444ss

@M – Has to work better than constant retreat, negotiating rights away bit by bit. If we’re going to compromise, it. Has to be a compromise where we get something more important than what we give up and provide real protection fo4 whatever we “win”. NRA has simply negotiated to surrender a little in exchange for a five second pause before starting negotiations on the next surrender. Most people have a line of no retreat, where they will make their last stand to win or die. Many are there now. Retreat is not an option. I’m viewed poorly as I… Read more »

M444ss
M444ss
9 months ago

Of course, Graham’s bill can’t make it to the White House for signature during the current Congress b/c it won’t pass in the House of Representatives. If only Republicans were as “activist” for our rights as Dems are against our rights. For example, the Far left took over Virginia government and spent their first couple weeks in full control passing a bevy of anti-rights bills (mostly gun control bills). When the Republicans had full control of Congress, most recently 2017-2018, they could have passed concealed carry reform, suppressor reform, stronger protection against frivolous lawsuits, pre-emption of state gun control (under… Read more »

pedant
pedant
9 months ago
Reply to  M444ss

Republicans are Red, Democrats are blue, Neither of them, give a hoot about you

Knute
Knute
9 months ago
Reply to  pedant

Both red and blue
Care only about stealing from you
No color, and no creed
can stop this evil seed
Constant vigilance, you see
Is the ONLY way for humans to be free!

option31
option31
9 months ago

Harold, just where in the Constitution did we authorize that the federal govt can issue licenses to sell firearms? Per Madison – the powers of the federal government are few and defined. They are all listed and defined in Article 1 Section 8. Post where this power is listed as my copy does not have that power granted to the government. Laws do not stop crime – they only spell out punishment. In the case of Representatives proposing and passing illegal laws – what is the punishment for them? Using the logic law stops crime why are all these illegal… Read more »

M444ss
M444ss
9 months ago
Reply to  option31

Seems like you’re not only missing the point but advocating for bad policy. Seems like you’re suggesting a law to increase penalties for and deference of thefts from FFL holders is bad because there shouldn’t be an FFL requirement in the first place? There’d still be people selling guns, and there’d still be people stealing from those gun dealers. Opposing this bill is essentially cutting off the nose to spite the face.

Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago
Reply to  M444ss

How common were thefts from WesternAuto, Sears and Roebuck, the old time hardware store downtown, back before BATF grew into the moster dragon they are now? Since the sale of those “daynjrus” guns got so regulated and tightened up, guns are now concentrated in a few specialty shops that have become delicious targets for theft. You KNOW what is inside that shop at three ayem….. But it SEEMS so much safer and controllable to put them all together in one place, not much else in the entrie bulidng. Together with the new “laws” so restricting and regulating sales, firearms have… Read more »

option31
option31
9 months ago
Reply to  M444ss

Not missing the point at all. Bad policy starts by violating rights and to advocate policies that violates rights in an attempt to make good policy is still bad policy. Their is no Constitutional grounds for requiring an FFL, if their is where is that article and section #? Ignoring violations of our rights is what has gotten us to where we are today. What compromise has the anti freedom crowd made? NONE they have wanted to confiscate firearms since the early 20th Century – that has not changed they have just gotten more bold. If the govt is requiring… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
9 months ago
Reply to  option31

@option31 – What about making FFL a voluntary registration to qualify for federal protections? Anyone else dealing in guns and or ammo just has the same local police protection as any other retailer or private individual… If I was dealing in SF or other low enforcement locale, I’d certainly be willing to pay for federal protection. Cannot help but think of tale of attempted robbery of a range I like. Two or three armed retired offices behind the counter and about a dozen uniforms in the lobby (have never seen any when I’ve been there). Perps came in with masks… Read more »

option31
option31
9 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

If someone wants to voluntarily do something go for it. However that person should foot the bill. The problem with govt doing anything voluntary turns to mandatory pretty quick. What’s wrong with people in the store being armed? What’s wrong with Constitutional Carry? We need to make it too risky to commit a crime – the only way to do that is civilian carry. If you don’t know who has a firearm its not worth the risk. Criminals are cowards, make the risk of death or injury greater than the rewards and the crime plummets. Sure it will not all… Read more »

TheRevelator
TheRevelator
9 months ago
Reply to  M444ss

I think you are someone I need to talk to at some point just because of your name.

I’ve had an affair going on with the Marlin 444 for over 20 years now. Great Cartridge, wildly undervalued, and grossly misunderstood!

TheRevelator
TheRevelator
9 months ago
Reply to  TheRevelator

Ok, I’m really having to laugh at this.

While I disagree with many points stated, I have to wonder who is butt hurt enough to downvote a comment based on being a fan of a particular rifle cartridge.. Were their little feelings so hurt that I chose the 444 Marlin over a 45-70, or 30-30 perhaps? Are they really that juvenile that they can’t write a reply to me if they have an issue? lol

Magnum
Magnum
9 months ago

Graham is anything but a 2A Supporter, most recently proved by his bogus Red Flag Bill supported by his Democrat buddies.

Graham is also anything but HONEST!

Why are there no specific names associated with “ a number of other Second Amendment champions”???

M444ss
M444ss
9 months ago
Reply to  Magnum

So you’re advocating against the arguments for supporting this apparently good-for-gun-owners bill because you don’t like the person who sponsored the bill?

Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago
Reply to  M444ss

no he is siply pointing out the hypocrisy of this bill and the thinking behind it. Like someone above said: if a 360 year sentence won’t make someone not B&E a gun store and cart off a dozen firearms, what insanity will make any ratioinal person think a 720 year sentence will? did anyone else here read about the puns that heisted two pallets of new guns, Rugers, from a UPS facility, a few hundred guns stolen in one go. They got caught, last I heard they were offered a plea bargain and should be out in twenty years or… Read more »

Degforyou
Degforyou
9 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

Our prisons are a joke! If they would start back doing sentences as in old days would cut back on crime. Being in prison gives criminals a better life while at the expense of tax payers.

Xaun Loc
Xaun Loc
9 months ago

So, where were all these “Second Amendment Supporters” in 2017 and 2018 when the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and such bills would actually have had a chance of being passed??

Why are we suddenly seeing a flurry of pro-2A bills that have almost no chance of passing? These bills are nothing but campaign stunts for Republicans who think they need to boost their chances by getting good press in the RKBA community.

ahhiyawa
ahhiyawa
9 months ago
Reply to  Xaun Loc

All those Republican 2A supporters in 2017 and 2018 were under the thumb of the globalist House leader Paul Ryan, who was maniacally focused on destroying a president. Not only had he blocked a national ccw reciprocity bill and other pro gun efforts, but he also deliberately sabotaged House Republican electoral efforts in 2018 by not raising money and cutting support to needy candidates who supported the president. The Republican party of 2020 is not the same party of 2016. By the same token Trump is not the ‘babe in diapers’ he was when he parachuted into that most vile,… Read more »

Arny
Arny
9 months ago

I will not support anymore bills that involve 2A. Another law will solve nothing when judicial won’t use & enforce what’s already on the books. More laws just opens the door for more & more rights to be stepped on. Its already against the law to steal or receive stolen property. And actually the law of RECEIVING stolen property needs to change How are you supposed to know it was stolen ?

JPM
JPM
9 months ago
Reply to  Arny

You are right on the Money, Arny! We have too many laws on the books for everything, especially dealing with the 2nd Amendment. NO MORE GUN LAWS! The 2nd Amendment says it all.

Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago
Reply to  Arny

criminal enter[prise operatives KNOW those twenty seven AR’s stolen from the gun store are stolen…. one question I have is WHY the “speshul” treatment of guns stolen from an FFL? Why are those gun thefts treated differently than when Mr. Smith gets hit in a housebreaking, and loses his guns? Is that not the same crime? Theft is theft. The biblical punishment for theft is for the thief to repay FOUR TIMES what was stolen. When caught, the guy needs to serve his time, by working off his debt. If he has ANY assets, they are to be liquidated and… Read more »