Guess How Much Jail Time You Get For Stealing Three Guns In Massachusetts? -The Firearm Blog


Through 2023, Massachusetts’ Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell announced the state’s new Gun Violence Prevention Unit, part of the state’s plan to crack down on firearms crime. How’s that working out? Let’s check into a recent press release from the ATF, describing a sentence handed out for stealing three guns.

According to the ATF, 40-year-old Frank P. O’Toole was just sentenced on February 2 after pleading guilty last June to two counts of possession or sale of a stolen firearm. The crimes occurred between October 2021 and June 2022, when O’Toole stole three packages as he worked as a FedEx delivery truck driver out of a facility in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Each package contained a firearm; O’Toole’s thefts netted him two rifles and a shotgun that were intended for a FFL holder.

O’Toole was caught when he sold the three firearms to an undercover federal agent in two different purchases in August of 2022. From there, his journey to the courtroom started, ending with his sentencing this winter. So how much time did his crimes get him?

According to the ATF’s press release, O’Toole was sentenced to time served, plus three years of supervised release, “during which period he must complete 250 hours of community service.” And how much time did he serve? Just six days in jail.

For the record, the judge who handed down the sentence—U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley—then handed a bank robber more than eight years in prison in a February 5 sentencing. The ATF’s PR and an identical release from the United States Attorney’s office seemed peeved with the gun theft sentencing, as the second sentence in their releases tersely noted that “The government recommended a sentence of 10 months in prison.”

The Massachusetts’ AG’s office made a lot of noise about a crackdown on gun crime with a new unit in 2023, but that still didn’t stop a federal judge from dropping a gun thief to into the public after only six days in jail.

As for the state’s Office of the Attorney General and its Gun Violence Prevention Unit? Despite much ballyhoo at the launch of the unit, there seems to be no commentary yet on what appears to be a very light sentencing for a crime that impacted legal gun owners as well as the public in general. Perhaps it would be useless, as there may be no point in the state AG getting into a spat with a district court judge—but it seems like light sentencing for firearms theft would be somewhat concerning to anyone who wanted to prevent gun violence.

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