The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced last week that looters in the Houston area stole almost 100 firearms (97 to be exact) in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Officials with the agency cautioned FFLs prior to the arrival of Harvey, sharing with them best practices on how to secure inventory and deter theft.
ATF also partnered with Houston police to provide security at gun shops around the city. But despite those efforts, looters were successful in hitting several gun stores, reports ABC13.
With Hurricane Irma now looming over Florida, the ATF is making moves to help FFLs in the storm’s path. On Tuesday, it issued a release stating the following:
A disaster preparedness plan should be established by all FFLs and FEL/FEPs to safeguard their businesses by protecting explosives, firearms, and required records. If necessary, licensees and permittees should take precautionary steps by contacting their local ATF field office regarding:
- the relocation of explosives magazines and records from business premises to a safe location; or
- the removal of firearms and ammunition inventory, ATF Forms 4473 and 3310.4; and acquisition and disposition records from business premises to a safe location.
For more information in preparation for potential disasters, such as hurricanes floods and tornados:
- Explosives licensees and permittees should refer to ATF Publication 5400.16.
- Firearms licensees should refer to ATF Publication 3317.7.
Irma has been classified as a Category 5 Hurricane, with winds reaching up to 185 mph! CNN reports that four of the strongest buildings on the Caribbean island of St. Martin have been destroyed by Irma.
Meteorologists predict that the tempest will reach south Florida in the next 96 to 120 hours, putting the storm over Miami by 2:00 a.m. AST.