Press Release

Gillibrand, Hawley Announce Bipartisan Legislation to Fight Mail Theft, Protect Postal Workers From Assault

May 17, 2024

In the First Half Fiscal Year 2023, the USPS Reported More Than 25,000 Incidents of Mail Theft 

Today, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced the introduction of the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act, legislation to fight mail crime. The bill would modernize postal collection boxes to protect against theft and strengthen penalties for assaulting a postal worker. 

Amid a concerning uptick in postal crime, I’m proud to be introducing this critical bipartisan legislation to protect our mail and those who deliver it,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This bill will make long-overdue upgrades to mailboxes around the country to safeguard against the theft of Americans’ sensitive information. It will also strengthen penalties for assaulting a postal worker, helping ensure that the hard-working men and women who deliver our mail are not put in harm’s way because of their jobs. I look forward to getting this bill passed.” 

“Postal carriers work day in and day out to fulfill critical needs, like package deliveries, that Americans often take for granted. The recent uptick in violent assaults against these men and women is unacceptable and inexcusable. Congress should protect our postal workers on the job, and that starts by increasing enforcement of the law for crimes committed against them,” said Senator Hawley.

Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Greg Landsman (D-OH) lead companion legislation in the House. 

Specifically, the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act would:

1.    Authorize $7 billion over 5 years to install high security collection boxes and to replace older versions of the universal mailbox key with an electronic version. 

2.    Establish the premise that the Attorney General should vigorously prosecute any case of assault against a postal employee.

3.    Direct the Attorney General to appoint an assistant U.S. attorney in each judiciary district to supervise the investigation and prosecution of alleged postal crime. 

4.    Require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to amend guidelines so that the assault or robbery of a postal worker is treated in the same manner as assaulting a law enforcement officer.

On behalf of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA), I would like to thank Senator Gillibrand and Senator Hawley for introducing the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act in the Senate. The NRLCA is proud to endorse this important bipartisan legislation,” said NRLCA president Don Maston. “Letter carriers have increasingly become the target of criminals looking to gain access to the nation’s mail.  These criminals are putting the health and safety of our dedicated rural letter carriers in harm’s way. We must protect our members and stop this threat to our nation’s letter carriers.  The NRLCA urges immediate action in Congress to pass this important legislation. A threat to one letter carrier is a threat to all letter carriers.”

“The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) appreciates Sen. Gillibrand and Sen. Hawley’s leadership in introducing the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act. Every employee has the right to be safe and protected on the job. Our hope is that this legislation will deter these violent crimes and keep letter carriers safe on the job,” NALC President Brian L. Renfroe said. “I urge Congress to pass this bill that would protect the nation’s letter carriers who dutifully deliver medications, checks, ballots, packages, and other essential mail that all Americans depend on.”