Congressman DeSaulnier Introduces Legislation to Safeguard Federal Service Weapons from Theft, Protecting Officers and Public
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) introduced the Federal Law Enforcement and Public Protection Act, which would mandate federal agencies implement safeguards to prevent federal law enforcement officers’ service weapons from becoming lost and stolen. Over the past years, the Bay Area has seen the fatal shootings of Kathryn Steinle and Antonio Ramos in which the shooters used weapons that were stolen from federal law enforcement officers. These murders are just two examples of the concerning trend surrounding the theft of law enforcement weapons nationwide.
“Locking a firearm when it is not in use should be standard practice. Yet, the glaring gap in current policies regarding gun safety has led to federal law enforcement weapons being stolen and subsequently used in crimes. My bill would ensure that federal law enforcement officers are properly storing their guns to protect the public and themselves, said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.
There are almost 80 federal law enforcement agencies, yet there is currently no federal standard in place for officers to safely lock and store their guns. Congressman DeSaulnier’s straightforward bill would require standards for federal law enforcement officers to lock their weapons when they are not in use, and would institute a reporting mechanism to better understand the severity of this problem. This bill would also provide officers with information about the dangers of keeping an unlocked gun in the home.
“This bill would put into place simple reforms to make certain our law enforcement uses best practices that can save lives,” said Congressman Mark Desaulnier.
Congressman DeSaulnier previously sent a letter to President Obama requesting executive action requiring federal agencies to establish protocols for securing firearms that are not in use. In addition to the incidents in San Francisco, there have recently been several reports in the media of federal law enforcement officers either having their weapons stolen or misplacing them, including by the Capitol Police and Secret Service.