Rep. Schneider Introduces Bill to Reduce Gun Violence from Stolen Firearms

July 25, 2017
Press Release
More than 18,000 guns were stolen or lost in 2016 from Federal Firearms Licensees; bill would require more effective secure storage measures

Today, Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced legislation aimed at reducing gun violence by preventing the theft of firearms from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs), or federally-licensed dealers, manufacturers, and importers.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), more than 18,000 firearms were reported stolen or lost in 2016 from FFLs – a year over year increase of 20 percent.

H.R. 3361, the SECURE (Safety Enhancements for Communities Using Reasonable and Effective) Firearm Storage Act would address this problem by requiring all firearms to be securely stored when a federally-licensed gun dealer is not open for business. Additionally, the bill would require the Attorney General to review and put forth additional security measures to reduce the risk of theft, and create a new section on the FFL Application for an applicant to describe security plans before a license can be approved.

“Our country is suffering from an epidemic of gun violence, and stolen firearms represent a growing source of the guns used in these crimes,” said Schneider. “The SECURE Firearm Storage Act makes practical improvements to ensure gun dealers are properly safeguarding their inventory so fewer of these weapons can be easily stolen and later used in violent crimes. This bill is a commonsense step for gun safety, and I remain committed to finding further thoughtful ways to tackle this critical public health crisis in our communities.”

A new report from the Center for American Progress shows stolen guns often end up being used in the commission of violent crime. During the six-year period between January 2010 and December 2015, 9,736 guns that were recovered by police in connection with a crime and traced by ATF had been reported stolen or lost from gun stores.

“Every two minutes, a gun is stolen in America,” said Chelsea Parsons, Vice President of Guns and Crime Policy at the Center for American Progress. “These stolen guns feed directly into illegal gun trafficking networks and are destined for use in violent crimes, so gun dealers have a substantial obligation to secure their dangerous inventory and prevent against theft. This bill is a crucial step forward in providing ATF with the tools necessary to ensure that they are doing so. Nobody in America is in favor of gun theft, and Congress should act quickly to enact this commonsense measure to help protect all of our communities.”

The SECURE Storage Act is supported by the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent gun violence.

“Thousands of deadly weapons are stolen every year from Federal Firearm Licensees, many of which are later used to commit violent crimes,” said Colleen Daley, Executive Director at the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. “The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence is proud to support the SECURE Storage Act as a sensible, effective step toward reducing gun theft, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congressman Schneider on similar efforts to reduce gun violence in our communities.”

Original co-sponsors of the SECURE Storage Act are Representatives Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Luis Gutierrez (IL-04), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01), Thomas Suozzi (NY-03).

Full text of the SECURE Firearm Storage Act is available here.