ATF issues guidance on disaster preparedness for FFLs

The federal government issued guidance Friday on disaster preparedness for federally-licensed firearms dealers.

In a pamphlet available here, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives encourages gun dealers to create an emergency preparedness plan in the event of a flood, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, earthquake or severe weather event, such as an ice storm.

“FFLs have a two-fold interest in having a plan in place,” the pamphlet said. “The need to safeguard their business to facilitate a quick recovery and the need to protect the public from the risk of theft/loss of firearms and ammunition.”

The agency said dealers should also take “precautionary steps” and contact local ATF field offices “regarding the removal of firearms and ammunition inventory; ATF Forms 4473 and 3310.4; and acquisition and disposition records from the business premises to a safe location.”

Thieves stole more than 200 guns from dealers in South Carolina and Florida during Hurricane Matthew in October.

Daniel Huneycutt, who owns the South Carolina gun shop where burglars took off with 229 guns — 60 percent of his inventory — told The Trace last year he believes the suspects had been casing his business since it opened and saw the storm as an opportunity to act.

“Glass everywhere, guns thrown out on the floor that they missed and didn’t pick up, poured bleach over everything. Just made a mess of everything,” he told a local NBC affiliate. “I never knew the power, or the wind, would have gotten so hard or else I would have probably been here sleeping when they came.”

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