Lost or stolen firearms can impact compliance risk, insurance premiums, customer flow and public safety. Today we’re taking a journey into retail FFL security and providing you with information to understand compliance requirements; enhance your current retail FFL security program; and to evaluate the performance of your current security investments. Additionally, we will provide you with links to helpful information from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) and other resources.
ATF Form 3310.11 provides the requirements and means for reporting Theft / Loss that may arise from a variety of events (note: ATF Rule; Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition-Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms in Transit (2007R-9P) effective February 16, 2016 requires all firearm Theft or Loss to be report via ATF Form 3310.11. Theft / Loss events can be grouped into three categories which include: (1) Inventory theft that has been stolen from an FFL’s facility; (2) Firearms that are missing from an FFL’s inventory (i.e., an inventory loss or discrepancy); and (3) Firearms lost or stolen during shipment.
In all cases, the ATF specifies the regulatory filing period which is triggered when a licensees is “reasonably certain” of discovering that a firearm has been lost or stolen. We encourage you to read the requirements found in 18 U.S.C. 923(g)(6) which states: “Each licensee shall report the theft or loss of a firearm from the licensee’s inventory or collection, within 48 hours after the theft or loss is discovered, to the Attorney General and to the appropriate local authorities.” The procedures for reporting are set forth in ATF Regulations, Part 478-Commerce in Firearms and Ammunition, 478.39a, Reporting Theft or Loss of Firearms.
The following are the three classifications of theft stated on the form stated in general terms.
Occurs when an FFL cannot locate a firearm (i.e. the FFL’s A&D record reflects an acquisition but no disposition but the firearm cannot be located during an inventory reconciliation). Lost firearms are different from stolen firearms because, although they are missing from inventory, the determination of cause may not be known. [2, p. 3].
Occurs when a firearm in transport (i.e. via a logistics carrier) is lost or stolen while in transit. According to ATF’s Safety & Security Information for Federal Firearms Licensees, when a firearm cannot be located by shipper, receiver, or carrier, it is considered stolen [2, p. 3].
Each year the ATF publishes statistics on inventory discrepancies that arise from the categories noted above. Additionally, they provide categorical information about the serialized assets that were reported on form 3310.11. For example, handgun losses are reported at a higher rate than long guns at a ratio of 3 to 1 .
On January 23, 2017, the ATF launched an initiative called “fflAlert.” This program will notify FFLs, who are geographically located within the proximity of an event, via telephone when a neighboring licensee has experienced a theft or burglary. A short, automated message is sent to Type 01 and Type 02 FFLs’ telephone alerting them to a robbery or burglary that has occurred within their county. These calls will be made between 9am-5pm (all time zones), seven days per week.
It is important to note that no information will be collected from FFLs during these calls, the victimized FFL will not be identified, and there is no requirement to call back or follow-up . Please visit www.atf.gov for more information on fflAlert.
The ATF recently issued an informational brochure called “Loss Prevention for Firearm Retailers.” We have combined several of the concepts provided in that document with our own retail security expertise to provide you with the following list of guiding principles. Please note that this list should not, in anyway be considered all inclusive.
Keeping your local law enforcement and ATF field office informed of real or perceived threats (not just theft/loss) is an important part of a broader community protection plan. Notwithstanding the regulatory requirements to report, you should consider sharing the following information.
|||Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Department of Justice, “Final Rule,” Washington, 2016.|
|||U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, “Safety and Security Information for Federal Firearm Licensees,” 02 2010. [Online]. Available: https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/guide/safety-and-security-information-federal-firearms-licensees-atf-p-33172/download. [Accessed 01 02 2017].|
|||T. Chittum, “ATF-FBI/NICS Townhall Meeting,” in SHOT Show, Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV, 18 Jan 2017.|
|||Orchid Advisors, “ATF Launches Firearm Robbery fflAlert System and Loss Prevention Guidance,” 15 01 2017. [Online]. Available: http://orchidadvisors.com/atf-launches-firearm-theft-alert-system-loss-prevention-information/. [Accessed 01 02 2017].|
About Orchid Advisors – #1 in FFL Compliance Solutions
Orchid Advisors provides ATF and ITAR compliance services to manufacturing, distribution and retail FFLs. The firm offers FFL and Export licensing, deep record inspections, e4473 / NFA eForms, Electronic Bound Book software and delivers the largest online ATF and ITAR compliance training platform available.