ATF Data Confirms ‘Operation Secure Store’ Has Positive Impact

By Larry Keane


New ATF Data on FFL burglaries, robberies, and the number of stolen guns confirms the firearm industry’s Operation Secure Store makes communities safer.

Keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals takes a monumental effort. Partnerships between neighborhood gun store retailers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are critical and a multifaceted endeavor.

The firearm industry’s Operation Secure Store (OSS) is a pillar partnership with ATF and DOJ to provide brick-and-mortar firearm retailers with educational resources and services to better secure their inventory and reduce robberies and burglaries.

New data released by ATF confirms once again OSS makes communities safer. The number of FFL burglaries and robberies and the number of stolen firearms are all lower than they were last year. This is great news and the data continues a downward trend since 2017.

First Line of Defense

“Retailers are the first line of defense against criminals and would-be criminals,” said NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi in testimony to the Connecticut state legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee. He stated it to members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee last year, too. When neighborhood firearm retailers use industry tools and resources through OSS to improve their inventory security, they are backstopping against possible criminal behavior that could endanger their communities. No one wants that.

The new ATF data, from the report covering 2017 through 2022, shows Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) are taking the right steps against would-be criminals. The number of FFL burglaries dropped each year, with the exception of the COVID pandemic year of 2020. In 2017, there were 577 FFL burglaries. In 2018, that figure dropped to 427 and again down to 343 in 2019. And, ATF told NSSF if the months of May and the immediate aftermath of the George Floyd incident in 2020 were exempted from the statistics, it would show a decline over 2019. Last year, the most current year for data, there were only 277 FFL burglaries. For FFL robberies, the high mark of 36 in 2018 has gone down each year, including 2020, to just 21 in 2021.

Where the data really jumps out is the number of stolen firearms over the stretch of the report. No one – especially an FFL business – wants to see legal-to-own firearms illegally stolen, winding up in the hands of someone who shouldn’t possess them and ultimately used in the commission of a crime or violent act.

In calendar year 2017, ATF data shows there were 7,841 firearms stolen during FFL burglaries. That number dropped by 2,200 the following year (the first year of OSS), dropped further to 4,490 in 2019 and dropped even further last year. In 2021, there were only 2,936 firearms stolen during an FFL burglary. That’s a roughly 65 percent reduction in firearms stolen from FFLs in five years.

Layers of Security

Ensuring firearm inventory remains safe doesn’t just mean extra locks on the doors or shelves to keep guns secured. With the OSS program, ATF, DOJ and firearm retailers work together and focus on five key areas; “Education and Awareness,” “Assessment and Risk Analysis,” “Planning and Strategy,” “Engagement” and “Response.” This thorough multipronged approach to firearm inventory is critical.

Any stolen firearm is one too many. It’s why the firearm industry doesn’t just work with ATF and retailers to prevent burglaries and thefts, but also offers matching rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crimes if theft occurs. Offering rewards often helps spur community cooperation and encourages anyone with information to help authorities bring criminals to justice. That communication is also critical in alerting other firearm retailers in the area of crimes so they are aware and on the lookout.

The ATF has a 100 percent response rate to burglaries and robberies of firearm retailers and uses the combined expertise of its special agents and industry operations investigators to apprehend those responsible and recover the stolen firearms.

Real Solutions. Safer Communities.

Operation Secure Store is one of several NSSF Real Solutions. Safer Communities. initiatives. Don’t Lie for the Other Guy helps ATF to educate retailers on the warning signs of illegal straw purchases. Project ChildSafe has partnered with more than 15,000 local law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and the five U.S. territories to distribute more than 40 million free firearm safety kits that include a locking device. FixNICS is an ongoing effort to provide resources and encourage states and federal agencies to submit disqualifying records to the FBI NICS system to ensure people who shouldn’t own a firearm are unable to purchase one from a retailer. NSSF also partners with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to give tools to firearm retailers and ranges to have a brave conversation before a tragedy and prevent suicide.

This important work, including Operation Secure Store, remains critical to the entire gun-owning community. The new ATF data is positive. The hard work continues to keep communities safe.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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ATF has a credibility rating of zero . My take on the ATFs data is ” I can smell bullshit from a mile away “


I agree. The NSSF is full of it too.


They have their nose buried right up the BATFE


M454 – should have been a mile away up wind. 🙂


New data released by ATF confirms once again OSS makes communities safer. The number of FFL burglaries and robberies and the number of stolen firearms are all lower than they were last year. This is great news and the data continues a downward trend since 2017.”

The numbers are probably lower because your ‘partners at the ATF and DOJ’ have been shutting down FFLs as fast as they can!


I didn’t see anything mentioned about the enforcers gun confiscation numbers or better yet, what happens to said confiscated guns? I don’t know anyone who has had their guns stolen, but I do know of someone who’s had their guns confiscated…even though they were not a criminal or convicted of a crime. I have an acquaintance who had an extended family member(s) who liked smoking stink weed but he/she didn’t like paying a King’s ransom for the stuff. So like many industrious youngsters, they planted their own. Not a big operation from what I’ve been told just 4 plants. My… Read more »

Hear Me Roar - Courageous Lion

I’ve been saying it for years. The Mafia is an “illegal” gang and the gang that stole the guns and tore the house up are a “legal” gang. It REALITY? What is the difference? Once Upon A Time…Mankind Went Insane…


New a felon across the street that was not supposed to have a gun. Got busted smoking weed while fishing. Cop searched his car, found gun and a 10 inch knife under seat. Went to court for possession of marijuana and the knife. The gun he took was never mentioned on the paperwork in Sacramento Kommiefornia.

Last edited 7 days ago by musicman44mag

Lol, down vote on. Glad I took the space in your brain enough to compel you to downvote. Now why don’t you grow some balls and say why you down voted.

I’m sure if you could and have it make sense you would, but you have no logical reason other than that you don’t like people talking the truth about dirty cops. Sacto city and county is full of them.



exactly what I was thinking when I was reading it. In addition, let’s not forget places like orgoneistan and washington and others making laws that prevent dealers from selling to people unless they have a special license, special training, paid the fees and passed the background check to get that license to buy a gun and then pass that check again when purchasing.



Bought my first gun (Ruger Single Six) in CT many, many moons ago. They required a permit before you could even purchase.


What did it take to get the permit? Would I be wrong to say it was just an ID or DL and MONEY?


EXACTLY – you beat me to it.

Henry Bowman

If the data source is BATF, then the data isn’t trustworthy. They lost the last shred of credibility when they started walking guns across the border!!

Abolish the ATF, leave criminal investigations to state police, and anti-theft programs to the industry and we’ll all be better off!

ATF Big Mistake Eraser.png
Roland T. Gunner

Stupid article. Nothing but a metric butt-ton of dumbass “if it saves just one child” rhetoric.

Nobody, especially the victimized FFL holder, wants guns stolen, but we dont need ATF involved before the fact.

The only valid gun law should be “18 to purchase”.


“18 to purchase”… Well, I don’t know about that. I was perfectly able to choose and buy a weapon at 14. The age thing should be left up to parents and sellers.



My concern is how that age would tie into voting for president. They are trying to lower the age limit to vote to 16 and start government childcare at the age of two.

Most of today’s children are not us and with the direction things are headed, it never will be again. City kids outnumber the rural and they are being brainwashed more and more as we type our little fingers off.


Yes, voting age was determined by states until the 26th Amendment. However, weapons purchase age was not specified in the Constitution, thus up to the states, unless that would violate the 2nd Amendment. I feel that specifying a specific age would violate the 2nd Amendment. Given that, it would be more of an age of majority thing; and until then, a parental responsibility. If the young weapon holder does not violate any physical assault laws, then he is good.



Most states – where laws should originate, if at all – determine the age for their state. The Feds should keep their nose out of it, since it isn’t one of their listed Constitutionally duties.


Didn’t federal court recently rule Texas’s permitless carry restriction to 21+ was unconstitutional? They left state option of amending LTC to allow 18-20 year olds rather than requiring permitless carry for all 18+. Reasoning was that these people are adults and state may not utterly forbid bearing arms from an adult. If that is unconstitutional, surely barring “keep” portion of amendment is as well.


Correction – Must be 18 to purchase from retailer. Younger than that should continue to be legally allowed to make private purchases. Just as I need to be able to legally transfer firearms to whomever I choose without registration or other governmental interference or tracking.

Hear Me Roar - Courageous Lion

Why? Who is damaged by someone under 18 purchasing? I bought my first rifle from a friend when I was in High School at the age of 16. A .22/250. My dad was pissed, but no one died. Wish I still had that one. I ended up with a Ruger Varmint version later on to replace the Remington. I think the Ruger is better!


Yeah closing legitimate businesses with a BS Scam. And then having this same org ATF shutting you down. I would surely hope some kind of numbers dropped. Are you [email protected] Serious with this BS ? Pull your head out of your @ss ! Why would anyone work with these Commies ? Especially when all they want to do is ruin your life. You gotta be some kind of special stupid. LMAO


One thing is for sure, the alphabets have made a genuine American artistic tradesman profession a nightmare. A gunsmith today is more clerical than productive. There is a better way…


“NSSF mission is to promote, protect and preserve *hunting* and *shooting sports*”.

The intentional absence of promoting, protecting, and preserving the Second Amendment in the organization’s mission statement is where the NSSF loses me.

On top of that schilling for the ATFE is an all time low.

Last edited 7 days ago by JIAZ
Roland T. Gunner

But but but we have a Second Amendment right to own a beat-to-$hit sporterized Mauser to shoot deer with; and nobody is coming to take it away!

Makes the blood boil and the brain convulse.

Hear Me Roar - Courageous Lion

Sorry, sporterized Mausers weren’t around in 1791. Can’t have them either. Just muzzle loaders will be allowed… And as for freedom of speech? Computers are no longer allowed, cell phones are no longer allowed and if you want to write to someone you can use a quill pen and ink well. Oh, and bull horns are not allowed either.


Of course bull horns are allowed – for carrying black powder.




If I were an FFL, I wouldn’t wait for an alphabet soup agency to tell me how to make my store more secure. Common sense dictates that I’d do everything within my power to deter thieves from even trying.
I also imagine that insurance companies would mandate or at least incentivize maximum security measures.
There are 2 FFL’s that I know of in my area that have concrete reinforced steel posts sunk into the sidewalk in front of their stores. One of those takes every gun from the display cases and locks them in vault when they’re closed.


If they’re truly worried about decreasing the number of firearms stolen, they might try teaching federal agents how to actually secure their weapons in their cars. I’m constantly reading about this or that agent leaving an M4 rifle or 12 ga shotgun in the cab of the car and finding it stolen.


There were fewer new car thefts last year. The fact that the Chinese have control of the microchips and that car production was down and car dealerships were closing has nothing to do with the statistics of that fact.
Believe me, I am the NTSB.