For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Contact: Public Affairs Division
ATF Releases 2016 Summary of Firearms Reported Lost and Stolen from FFLs
WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the federal agency responsible for investigating instances where firearms are lost or stolen from federal firearms licensees (FFL), is releasing its Calendar Year (CY) 2016 FFL Thefts/Loss Report, available on the ATF website, www.atf.gov. Part of the ATF core mission is to protect the public from violent crime involving the use of firearms, including firearms stolen from FFLs and used by violent offenders in the commission of crimes, posing a substantial threat to the public and law enforcement.
A total of 18,394 lost or stolen firearms were reported nationwide last year from FFLs. Of those firearms, 9,113 were reported as lost. Firearms are considered lost when an FFL takes a firearm into its inventory and later cannot account for the disposition of the firearm from its inventory during an inventory reconciliation.
There were 9,281 firearms reported stolen by FFLs in CY 2016. Stolen firearms are broken down into three reporting categories: larceny, burglary and robbery.
- Larceny (1,423) – The unlawful taking or carrying away property from the possessor or of another.
- Burglary (7,488) – The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.
- Robbery (370) – Taking anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence.
Additionally, the report includes a statistical state-by-state breakdown. Georgia had the highest total of stolen and lost firearms with 1,593, followed by Florida with 1,260 and Texas with 1,247.
Since CY 2012, there has been significant increases in the number of robberies and burglaries from FFLs, as well as significant increases in the number of firearms stolen during these crimes. The number of FFL burglaries has risen by 48.01% and FFL robberies by 175%. Graphs and maps of these increase statistics from CY 2012-2016 and a state-by-state breakdown are available on the ATF Infographics webpage.
FFLs must report each lost or stolen firearm within 48 hours of discovery of the loss or theft by completing and forwarding a report to ATF. In addition, the FFL must also report the firearm loss or theft to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
In an instance where an FFL discovers that firearms are lost or stolen, ATF Industry Operations Investigators (IOI) will assist the FFL in determining exactly which firearms are missing from the FFL inventory. As of March 10, 2017, there were more than 136,000 FFLs in the U.S. and its territories.
It should be noted that some states have more FFLs than other states. Higher numbers of thefts or losses from FFLs in a particular state do not necessarily indicate higher rates of firearms being lost or stolen from FFLs per capita.
Each year, ATF releases an FFL Thefts/Loss Report showing the number of firearms lost and stolen from FFLs during that calendar year. The report also shows statistics for the types of firearms, whether or not the firearms were lost, and how the firearms were stolen from FFLs. Reports from additional years can be found on the ATF Data and Statistics webpage.
ATF is the lead federal law enforcement agency with jurisdiction involving firearms and violent crimes, and it regulates the firearms industry. More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.