ATF Releases 2014 Federal Firearm Licensee Loss/Theft Report

BATFE LogoThe Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released its Federal Firearm Licensee (FFL) Theft/Loss Report for calendar year 2014. The report includes a state-by-state breakdown and detailed accounting of the types of firearms reported lost or stolen by FFLs between the dates of Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014.

FFLs are required to report to ATF each missing, lost, or stolen firearm within 48 hours of discovery of the loss or theft. In addition, the FFL must also report the firearm theft or loss to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. Once ATF receives a report from an FFL, the lost or stolen firearm(s) is entered into the Firearms Tracing System (FTS).

Lost and stolen firearms can pose a substantial threat to public safety and to law enforcement. In 2009 Jason Scott burglarized a FFL in Maryland stealing approximately 35 firearms. The investigation into the burglary of the FFL not only led to the recovery of all the stolen weapons, it ultimately led to Scott being implicated in five murders, nine armed home invasions, and more than 30 residential burglaries. He is serving a 100-year federal sentence.  

In 2013, ATF agents out of Pittsburgh, along with their local law enforcement counterparts tracked Garrett Sherlock and Joshua Faircloth to the streets of Baltimore after Sherlock robbed an FFL and stole 31 firearms. Both men were arrested after a car chase through the streets of Baltimore, and the police recovered 28 of the stolen guns. Faircloth received 35 months in prison, three years supervised release and ordered to pay more than $6,000 in restitution. Sherlock was sentenced in federal court to 144 months in prison, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of more than $20,000.

In 2014, more than 19,000 firearms were lost or stolen. ATF is dedicated to reducing firearms trafficking and firearms-related violent crime, and the FTS and FFL Theft/Loss Report are important tools in this effort.

On Jan. 16, 2013, President Barack Obama announced a plan to reduce gun violence in the United States. This plan included 23 executive actions, one of which called on the Department of Justice to prepare a report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and to make the report widely available to law enforcement.

In response to the president’s directive, the annual FFL Theft/Loss Report was created. This report gives a calendar year overview of the lost and stolen firearm reports submitted by FFLs to ATF.

For more information or to view the 2014 FFL Theft/Loss Report, visit the ATF website here. More information about the FTS and the National Tracing Center is also available online here.

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