Attitude from the ATF

ATF-IOI badgeHere is a tale of two ATF compliance visits, both involving ATF Industry Operations Investigators from the same Field Office, at FFLs in the same State.

An FFL of our acquaintance recently had an out-of-schedule compliance inspection. The FFL would sooner be boiled in oil than quoted by name making these comments of his or her Federal regulator, so information that will narrow it down among the many, many dealers we, uh, deal with, no pun intended, will not be forthcoming.

We will, however, share these insights.

  • “The IOI did not seem at all familiar with firearms. Seemed to be new and ill-trained.”
  • “The IOI made disparaging remarks about our customers, especially customers who buy ‘assault weapons,’ customers who use non-stocking ‘kitchen table’ dealers,” and customers who buy multiple ARs or multiple lower receivers — once I explained what a lower receiver was.”
  • “IOI said, ‘Only reason for these multiple buys is dealing without a license,’ and ‘We’re going to crack down on those guys.'”
  • IOI copied all multiple-long-gun-buy information from the A&D Record.
  • IOI assumed dealer shared IOI’s enthusiasm for the Democrats, gun control, and the President. The dealer did not but was noncommittal. And is now furious.

We recently dropped in on Dealer B. Without telling Dealer B about this tale from Dealer A, we had a conversation under remarkably similar lines. A major difference was that this inspection seemed to be routine in nature. (“I was about due for one.”) The IOI was focused on multiple buys, especially multiple AR-15 lower buys, and harangued the dealer:

“Why do you think this guy bought six lowers at once?”

“I don’t know. I’ve given up trying to figure out why people buy what they buy. Not everybody likes what I like, and I’m cool with that.”

“Come on, there’s no legitimate reason to do that.”

“That’s a mistake, to believe that. A lot of these guys like building ARs in different calibers and barrel lengths.”

The FFL tried to argue the point, that there were legitimate reasons for someone to buy multiple guns at once, but the investigator did not believe that for a minute, and was not being persuaded.

They were Prohibition Agents once. And some of them dream of being Prohibition Agents again, only the prohibition has changed.

They were Prohibition Agents once. And some of them dream of being Prohibition Agents again, only the prohibition has changed.

There was no mention of a coming crackdown. Dealer B did not mention any political disussion. Unlike Dealer A, Dealer B is a longtime union member and Democrat who parts company with his party on gun control only.

Dealer B did not get as much attitude as Dealer A from the investigator, but both had the sense that the investigator thinks all dealers sell to criminals with, at least, depraved indifference. Dealer B did not hear the term “kitchen-table dealer” but he may be one.

Neither dealer had major discrepancies, although both were given some detail corrections. Hot tip to FFLs and to everyone who fills out a 4473: spell out the buyer’s whole middle name.

Neither dealer wants (or deserves) to be identified publicly, but neither one was given a gag order, either.

We are not sure if this was the same inspector.

Maybe you guys can shake your trees and see if your dealers are encountering IOIs like these two (or this one?) whose clue level is  below the add-a-quart line.

Again, this doesn’t herald any kind of a major crackdown, but it may be a foreshadowing of trouble ahead. Your best defense is to comply fully with the letter of the law. And to have an attorney familiar with firearms regulatory law and criminal law on standby, just in case.

90 thoughts on “Attitude from the ATF

  1. Mr. 308

    “IOI copied all multiple-long-gun-buy information from the A&D Record.”

    Gee, boilerplate “I am not a lawyer”, but is this actually legal? Aren’t they supposed to refer to the books when investigating a crime? If they can just copy off whatever they like, perhaps they should keep the list locally.

    Uh huh.

    “Why do you think this guy bought six lowers at once?”

    Yea, I had a different response in my mind.

        1. redc1c4

          did you know that they have scientifically calculated the exact number of guns any one person should own?
          (answer below)
          one more. ;-)

    1. McWainor

      That sounds exactly like something out of a Bracken book…perhaps time really is short.

    2. emdfl

      Agent asked my friend why he bought 140 RRA lowers shortly after obumf***’s first crowning. This was actually about three years after the purchase. My friend replied, “That’s all I could afford.”

  2. Mike_C

    For some reason I have a sudden mental image of Vonetta Ecks from Unintended Consequences.

    1. Winston Smith

      VE was MUCH more savvy than the clown described in the post.

      I think it would help if the names of these offenders were regularly posted somewhere. People tend to watch their mouth more if they believe they may be held accountable for their actions.
      (yeah, yeah, I know. SOME think they are above the law and everyone else……)

  3. James in AZ

    Are you sure you’re not reading too much into this? Could it be just nonsense chitchat out of a nonsense ATF goon knowing nothing but nonsense?

  4. Jim

    I have watched alot of former coworkers leave for the ATF….These -individuals- were of the, shall we say “situationally flexible” type, in their moral and political tendancies. They also never should have been feds, and should have experts, but were inept with firearms. But the ATF offered an escape from a toxic leadership environment, along with a pay cut.

    One of them actually came to me (a “peer”) after an assignment, because his service pistol was rusting, badly, and wanted to know what to do. After composing myself, I asked if he ever removed it from the cheap-ass, sweat-soaked IWB holster he carried it in. He said no, he hadn’t taken it out in months. I politely suggested he let it air out, and oil it, then take it to the armorer, before the rust on the trigger and hammer got worse. He never did…too busy becoming management. Turned in a rusty, taxpayer-owned pistol when he left for the ATF.

    Short version: Expect much more of this type of behavior. These new guys have no clue what they are doing, and are like abused puppies that will do anything for their new owners.

    This could be the subject of a whole article about Hognose’s (second) least favorite agency, I swear…actually, Hognose, if you are interested, reply in the comments and I’ll email you.

    1. S

      “These new guys have no clue what they are doing, and are like abused puppies that will do anything for their new owners. ”

      That is the Führerprinzip in action at the frontline. It demonstrates the success of decades and generations of demoralisation. And then when the trains run non-stop to the ovens or the ditches in the forests, people are suddenly astounded. Whoever becomes Führer is immaterial….there are many to choose from and if one is removed another is immediately ready, and these though they may be intensely evil are not the worst. The Mengele’s and Barbie’s and Grese’s also couldn’t demonstrate their excesses without many others behind them, “just doing their job”.

  5. John D

    There is some anecdotal evidence that consumers who have made multiple purchase of lowers have had ATFE contact.

    Agents had gleaned the information from inspections, and appeared to be looking for the possibility of unlicensed dealing/manufacturing.

    (Not going to link your favorite “Black Rifle” site)

  6. John M.

    I bought multiple lowers from my LGS because prices were low (post-post-Sandy Hook). I’d like to be able to pass on a black rifle to each of my kids since I consider there to be a reasonable chance that they won’t be able to buy one new when their day comes.

    If it weren’t for Democrats, gun control and the President, I’d probably have bought one as a project. Due to Democrats, gun control and the President, I bought multiples, with no intention of ever selling them.

    Vonetta can put that in her pipe and smoke it.

    -John M.

    1. DAN III

      John M,

      I will suggest to you that you cease the attacks against folks known as “Democrats”.

      If you had ANY political awareness you would see and read how your beloved establishment Republicans are attacking Donald Trump. Donald Trump, who is the ONLY candidate to call for tariffs against the ChiCom imports and NAFTA/GATT/PNTR/MFN free trade deals. Trump, who has campaigned to secure the USA borders which the ATF compromised through their gun-running operation known as Fast & Furious. How many Republicans have stood on the floor of the House and Senate, and called for federal marshals to arrest Eric Holder and ATF scum who conducted Fast & Furious ?

      John, tell me, how many Republicans have introduced legislation and budget amendments to DEFUND the BATFE ?

      Tell me John which Republican POTUS candidate voted for Bill Clinton’s 1994 Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act; you SHOULD know it as the Federal Assault Weapons Ban ? Come on John….tell me….or do you need a little help, a further clue as to which 1994 House Republican voted to undermine our Freedom & Liberty ? This same, former federal Representative, received a personal “thank you” from Bill Clinton for helping Clinton compromise the United States Constitution and pass the 1994 AWB.

      To save you doing any research John, I’ll inform you who the establishment Republican POTUS candidate is that made the treasonous vote to compromise Freedom and Liberty in 1994. It was….


      John Kasick, current governor of Ohio; current REPUBLICAN governor of Ohio. You know him as one of your beloved establishment REPUBLICANS who is no less a liberal attempting to paint himself as a conservative.

      So while you blissfully ignore the fact that the establishment Republican, career politicians are no different than their Democratic cohorts, folks like you continue to foster the belief that career, establishment Republican scoundrels like Kasick, will protect the citizenry from the evil Marxism of the Democrats. How sadly wrong you are.

      Democrat….Republican. Left wing, right wing of the same bird.

      Wake up John. Smell the odor of deceipt fostered by the political upperclass.

      The Republican establishment ARE NOT our friends.


        1. DAN III


          I referenced ATF agents twice in my rant. The fedgov employees who ran guns to the Mexican cartel members were ATF agents/inspectors/employees.

          BATFE needs to go away and not one Republican has called for the agency’s elimination.

      1. 68Whiskey

        It’d have a bit more oomph if you were able to spell “Kasich” correctly.

        Also, I don’t think I’ve met a Kasich supporter. Ever. I don’t know who it is that’s voting for that clown.

        1. Match10

          LOL… True. Kasich is a RINO, and does not count for speaking against Republicans.

        2. DAN III


          I’m glad somebody caught the “misspelling”. Ka-SICK….get it ?

          Do not be surprised if you wake up the day after the Republican convention and Ka-SICK is the nominee. It’s not about what the serfs want. It’s about who the ruling elites do NOT want.

        3. Hognose Post author

          I have. Former Gov. Sununu assured me he was a true conservative. “Didn’t you say that about David Souter, sir?”

          He doesn’t know what happened to Souter.

      2. John M.


        Inhale. Exhale.

        I used “Democrats, gun control and the President” as a rhetorical device since our illustrious host reported the BATF agent in question as having used it.

        I too wish we had a right-wing party in this country. As it is, we get what we get, and there’s not much use getting upset.

        -John M.

      3. Claypigeonshooter

        Just to correct you and not an endorsement of Kasich; he did sign laws as Ohio governor that exempted ccw permit holders from doing forms 4473, lowered class time required to get ccw permit, legalized magazines with over 30 round capacity, and allowed hunters to use suppressors.

        Oh and those tariffs that you want have historically done damage to the US economy. Smoot Hally tariff made the depression worse, and tariffs in the early 1920’s hurt American farmers.

        1. DAN III


          Those tariffs in the late 19th century made the USA an industrial powerhouse.

          Are you ANOTHER Republican asleep at the wheel of what once a great nation ? Have you looked at the numbers of trade deficit due to “free trade” ? Have you looked at the destruction of wages and the ability of the country to be sovereign ?

          We have given up our country to the mantra of free trade and free traders such as yourself. I consider folks such as you a scourge on this once great nation. Today, thanks to those with your mentality, one cannot buy much of anything made in the USA by Americans.

          The foolishness of “free trade” continues to reign amongst those such as yourself. Most likely you have yourself a nice government job. But before long….lower paid H1-B visa types will be replacing YOU !

          “Free Trade” baby….it has destroyed Amerika.

          1. Claypigeonshooter

            I’m a skilled 2nd shift machinist working for a private company, last night I put in ten hours working till 1 am in the morning. I am not afraid of being replaced due to the shortage of skilled workers that is a result of other young people not taking up skilled trades.

            So you think that other countries will do nothing about us raising tariffs? They will in turn raise their own tariffs which will reduce exports of American goods. The high cost of imported goods due to tariffs will be passed down to you and me. Plus a lot of jobs that are over seas most Americans would not want to do and would rather sit at home on welfare. Both tariffs I mention proceeded the great depression which was the greatest economic downturn in American history. Global trade is the future and we need to stop hamstringing our selves with the EPA, welfare, and high taxes which I believe is the source of our struggle to compete.

            Don’t refer to me as a pigeon cause I shoot and eat them.

          2. DAN III

            So Pidgeon, you ARE a foolish Republican feeding at the trough of “free trade”.

            The purpose of a tariff IS to make foreign produced/imported products MORE expensive. In turn domestic produced goods are then competitive. Today, the steel mills are gone. The textile mills are gone. The automobile plants gone. The electronics industry gone. My local General Electric plant employs less than 3,500 people compared to 40 years ago when they employed 17,000+ Americans ! Gone. Good wages gone. Fewer taxes paid by fewer workers. Thus, raise taxes on those working who may still have a family-sustaining wage job. Oh, and grow government. More than 50% of working Amerikans now work for government, producing NOTHING ! Courtesy of the traitors who have and continue to support globalism and the debacle known as free trade

            Our trade deficit with the Communist Chinese (read Communist) is over 4 TRILLION USDs ! Do you even know what a trade deficit is ? Do you know what a trillion is ? It is 1,000 MILLIONS. Can you fathom that ? Today fUSA produces nothing. Can you name what the top export of this country is ? It is not finished product. The top exports are raw materials. Sent abroad and returned as finished products. Welcome to third world nation status.

            You whine that imported goods would cost more. So what ? You want to buy that foreign product then you should be willing to pay the price. And you claim to work as a machinist ? In Amerika ? Surely you jest. You must love that junk ChiCom steel you work with.

            But, you’re a globalist, a fool. I am a natiionalist. I care about what happens here to my country, my family, my friends. And they are all the worse for free trade and the traitorous support that globalists as yourself have provided the free trade Amerikan politicians.

            I’m looking forward to you losing your job. You’re not immune Mr. Globalist. The sooner the better. More jobs for the ChiComs, the Pakistanis, Koreans, the Mexicans and Japs ! Ford getting ready to send thousands of Amerikan jobs to Mexico. More Amerikans without good jobs. But that is fine with you, isn’t it ? Hell, you still have YOURS (for now) !

            You can be replaced. And you will be. In turn, where will your children find productive work 10 years from now ?





          3. Claypigeonshooter

            So kind of you to wish that I lose my job. Country boy can survive. My company that I work for has been expanding, just recently they have reopened profit sharing, they have hired more people to good jobs, they are setting up new machines to produce goods for a foreign company. You know what the biggest problem they have is when hiring new employees? They have trouble finding people with talent, work ethic, and people who can pass a drug test. I tried to have a productive debate, I tried to show you respect, could you show some to me? I am a machinist; I can hold 0.0005 inch tolerance for bearing press fits, I can run manual lathes and mills. I am proud of my work. Quality of the steel is just fine. I only recently declared republican to vote in the primary. Up till then I was an Independent. I hope you have a good rest of the week.

        2. Longbow

          “…he did sign laws as Ohio governor that exempted ccw permit holders from doing forms 4473.”

          Bullshit. A Governor of any State cannot exempt its citizens from federal law.

          1. Hognose Post author

            A lot of states do exempt License to Carry holders, not from the 4473 (as you say, they cannot), but the Brady NICS check.

            Persons holding firearm permits which qualify as alternatives, per the ATF, under the permanent provision of the Brady Act may not be required to undergo a NICS check.

            In any event, Ohio is not one of those states:

            A state can require FFLs to use NICS or a state call center, or use NICS for long guns and the state center for handguns, for example.

        3. Claypigeonshooter

          In the end my opinion means NOTHING, I am just one person trying to make a living. I may or may not be wrong just as you may or may not be right. I hope this discussion does not result in continued ill feelings towards one another. I wish you luck in the pursuit of happiness in life. I am sorry about your local GE plant. I did not mean to offend you or bring back bad memories. And when I say my company is expanding I mean that they are at least gaining back what they lost in the recession if not more.

  7. chuck ashley

    you are a bunch of dumbasses…I see you have used my sister who is mentally ill, & because of a lack of funding has fell through the cracks & this has caused her to go crazy. When you defund projects for the menatlly ill like they do in Texas , this is the outcome. The real story is Texas & good (as in bad) ol boy republicans wish to defund education & mental health care…..but go on & use the story to promote your guns because she used a hammer. She has been mentally ill for many years & it wasn’t until the defunding of education & mental health in Texas in 2011…all bc of George W’s inability to do anything but make this country a worse place…& you want to use that to promote guns & state that there are more deaths from ppl with hammers? you are sick in the head. Worse than my sister…why? bc it’s ppl like you that create the malinformation that make people have bad attitudes & make bad decisions all because they watch some fox news which is more total bullshit. You are not upright citizens like you think or wish you were. You’re just stirrers off shit that regular ppl have to keep dealing with. You people SUCK & God knows it.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Welcome to the blog, Chuck.

      1. Who’s your sister and what has she got to do with this post? Maybe she was featured in another post?

      2. We might be dumbasses. But none of us has ever typed “menatlly ill.”

      3. If we’re going to be serious, the deinstitutionalization debacle was a bipartisan screw-up, with liberals wanting to set the nut jobs free for their rights and rainbow-colored unicorns, and conservatives wanting to set them free to stop wasting money on them and ‘Murica. Ugly, but there it is. This all happened about the time George W. Bush was in undergraduate pilot training.

      Mentally ill people that pose a threat to themselves and others, but still have some hope of quality of life, should be locked up in asylums, period. It’s always a mistake to let them out. If they have nothing like a human life the humane thing to do is put them down. Letting them live in the streets and menace everybody (and be menaced by others) is not humane.

      I’d be all for spending money to treat schizophrenics, drug addicts, and personality disorder sufferers if there were any workable treatments. All society would benefit if there were such a thing. There is not. It may break your heart, but George W Bush didn’t cause this problem (nor did Barack Obama). A bunch of well-meaning but wrong people in the 1960s did. As it is, we spend the money and have loose, deadly nuts everywhere.

      We’re coming up on 50 years of the great social experiment that was deinstitutionalization, and it’s a bigger failure than the Soviet Union.

      1. Brad

        I tried using google to search for whatever post that “chuck ashley” was attempting to reply to, and the google alert says weaponsman might be hacked. Thought you would want to know.

        1. Hognose Post author

          From time to time we get hit by goons that somehow inject crap in the scripts, that promotes their URLs. The idea is to spam Google and raise their Google hit results so their website is #1 for whatever the search is, but Google’s on to it. Wondering why our stats had dropped off. (No, Google doesn’t notify you). I’ll raise it with hosting again… thanks, Brad.

          They (hosting and Google) have assured me that this crap is an attempt to game google, and it’s invisible to a regular browser, it only activates for Google’s spider.

      2. Quill_&_Blade

        In regards to #2 the problem is that you’re only a wannabe dumbass. If you were the real thing, you’d know why the typo occurred. “A guy I know” doesn’t type the ‘real’ way, he “hunts and pecks”. Somehow, the -a- vowel gets mentally prioritized, and pecked before the adjacent letter. Happens to “that guy” all the time. Spell check and Word Web are his friends. It reminds me of a “Spoonerism”. “The guy” does that on occasion too. Go look it up.

      3. Scooby

        My best guess would be that he found this post, which is about a Texas woman in a group home that was charged with attacking her roommate with a hammer.

          1. Hognose Post author

            Fixed. This one too (you had the first part, the URL in quotes, blank). The comment interfece lets me just put a link and it works… you only need to use the A tag if you want to use text that you hotlink to something. If that makes any sense?

        1. Hognose Post author

          I suppose one might take exception to having his sister called bat-guano-crazy, even if she did just beat the snot out of somebody with a hammer. But we calls ’em like we sees ’em, and that one looked BGC to us.

          1. Scooby

            Not sure how he found the story here… I was trying to Google her name to find if there was any resolution out of curiousity. I didn’t see anything related to the story in the first couple of pages of results. I guess he might be more motivated to Google deeper.

    2. Mr. 308

      Look man, you sound like you have a bad story and I am sorry about that. You know lots of us do, some worse, some not so worse. I have family with medical issues including a daughter who is totally disabled.

      All we see from you is blame, blame the government, blame the rich Republicans, blame gun owners. How does this help you? And you say we shouldn’t have the second amendment? So you want more government to solve that problem? How does this help you?

      I get the feeling logic and reason won’t get far with you but oh well, I give it one shot.

      Oh, and I may be a dumbass and I may SUCK, but I will have you know I am fully upright.

    1. Aesop

      Whatever meds you aren’t taking because you’re “feeling better”, up the dose.
      And thanks for the postcard from hell.

  8. Boat Guy

    I’m bettin that each of these “Law Enforcement Professionals” had an M4 in the trunk.
    And yes, “I’m no lawyer” but copying out of the Bound Book is illegal as far as I know. Course laws are merely for we serfs, NOT for our masters and betters.

  9. the AArdvark

    Only run in with ATF was a female agent at the gun shop I worked at. She was doing the semi-routine inspection. She asked about all “762” rifles we had for sale, I asked for clarification on whether she wanted 7.62×39 and/or 54, or other 30 cals. Deer in the headlights look. She knew next to nothing about firearms, but diligently purveyed through 7 years of log books. I guess firearm knowledge wasn’t a job prerequisite.

  10. James Sullivan

    I finished Matt Bracken’s ‘Foreign and Domestic’ a month ago and this is eerily similar to the scene in the beginning when the gun store owner is being harassed by the ATF…

    1. Jim

      That novel (less so the rest of the series) gets my vote for novel requiring the least suspension of disbelief. Heinlein’s “Time Enough for Love” wins the other end of the spectrum, good grief.

      1. GenEarly

        The second two novels in Bracken’s series obviously are in the future, the first one hasn’t happened yet either, but seems more likely as it is more current. Maybe you’ll live long enough to see how the 2nd and 3rd match up with reality……….. They may turn out to be overly optimistic!

        1. Boat Guy

          Likely. I can only hope that future resolves itself as well as it does in the books.
          Hoping/Praying that “Phil Carson” et al are at the right place at the right time.

  11. 6pounder

    Do you reckon this could have anything to do with 80% lowers being so popular these days?

    1. BillC

      I surmise it is related to Obama’s recent EO’s and BATFE’s institutional hatred for private ownership of firearms, that in particular pertain to non-FFL transfers; because anybody who buys more than one gun (or lower) that is a scary and black, must only have done it to sell (il)legaly. They hate the fact that anybody can sell firearms, even after the initial purchase from an store/ffl. Since you have 5 lowers, you must be an illegal dealer.

  12. SPEMack

    Fuck ’em all. I’m torn between having born witness to a civil war and gleefully wishing for the day the Jack booted thugs of F Troop reap the whirlwind for what they have sown. The murder of children, unborn infants, killing of pets, and destruction of livelihoods musn’t be allowed to stand.

  13. Aesop

    “No one good and decent has ever worked for the BATFE…” etc. etc.

    I’ve watched FFLs, both employers and relatives, deal with these jackholes close-up, multiple times.
    <1 in 100 could find their ass without both hands, a map, and a rear-view mirror where guns were concerned, and even fewer could successfully solve simple logic problems, left alone for days in a room with internet access and a cell phone.

    I'm pretty sure that's a requirement for hiring by the Bat-Farts, and a leg up on interviewing for their management positions.

    Courtesy of public education and popular culture, there is no shortage of amoral incompetents with a rampant superiority complex, willing to sup at the public teat for an entire career. The BATFE is merely the sweet spot of that situation. Entire villages are stripped bare of idiots annually to feed the federal personnel maw, and clearly, like TSA, the BATFE gets the cream of each year's crop.

    The best plan short of outright abolition of the agency would be to load them with 10,000 extra duties, like inventorying the shell holes on military firing ranges, and then cut their budget by draconian amounts, to confine the national damage they could inflict annually to an area the size of the AZ Meteor Crater.

    There is no story or allegation about their exploits so outlandish as to strain credibility, because the starting point is a Volkswagen loaded with federally badged @$$clowns.
    The rest is simply gravity, working.

    Like most circus acts, they're fun to watch — from a safe distance.
    Not so bitchin' when the elephant or tigers get lose.

    The next closest equivalent is the vignette on Disney's Jungle Cruise, where the apes have tossed the safari camp and found the weapons.
    I'm pretty sure they're africanized BATFE agents.

  14. James

    “…shall not be infringed.” I can buy as many friggin’ lowers as I can afford.

    This blog post makes a good case for buying them 80% though…

    1. redc1c4

      here in #Failifornia, someone’s proposed a law that would make an 80% receiver a firearm…

      the madness never stops.

          1. Claypigeonshooter

            The eventual out come then is they will outlaw knowledge of firearm manufacture.

  15. Pingback: WeaponsMan: Attitude From The ATF | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  16. Len Savage

    Booth accounts ring true….having had several Industry audits/IOI’s (never the same folks twice).

    I have met good and bad…From ATF and FFL’s. (I have been an expert witness/technical advisor for many federal cases). I have seen felony stupid several times.

    Most don’t copy books or 4473’s anymore, they just take a photo with their smart phone.

    The bigger problem is that ATF can and does from time to time “freeze an FFL out”. I deal and make NFA firearms from time to time. To date NFA branch (and Industry operations) will not speak to me on the phone and does not respond to registered letters concerning NFA paperwork. You have inventory you can do anything with until they do…..

    In all fairness the reason may be I have testified against them several times while being an FFL. As it was explained to me from a friend on the inside is that “Look Len, there are rules for the industry and then there are rules for you”. Arbitrary? Of course. Capricious? Certainly.

    What does an FFL do in such circumstances? Document, Document, Document! From emails to phone calls (you are recording them when you speak to them right?) If you send correspondence you send it return receipt required. You have surveillance cameras in your shop at all time, their inspection is then documented (I caught an IOI taking paperwork once that way).

    It is unfortunate that the above is possible. You mitigate as much danger from your interactions with ATF as possible. They are not there to help you, at best they are there to make sure you are playing by the rules, at the worst they are there to find something, (or anything) to hang you with. Motivations can be advancement or some scumbag you never knew trading your butt for his when he gets caught in felony stupid and will make anything up to skate another day…at your expense.

    Your best defense is to know precisely what is expected of you under the law as an FFL. Always approach any sale or action with the “what if” mentality of having to prove everything in the court of law (goes back to the Document , document, document thing).

    Attitude from ATF?…..I might know a thing or two about it (and how to deal with it).

    Len Savage
    Historic Arms LLC

    1. Hognose Post author

      People are who they are. It’s important to him. I spent a year or two in a union and watched the mafia-controlled union strangling the company; don’t care for them myself, especially in public service.

      I recall discovering that, “the Dutch Army is unionized!” and, “the supposedly elite Dutch Tier 1 SOF unit is just about useless” during the same mission. Not sure if the two are cause and effect, but the correlation is interesting.

  17. Robin Mitchell

    I found this thru Matt Brackens FB page. The world is a scary place. For years my husband has been saying we are at the crossroads of 1860 America and 1930’s Germany. I always believed him but now I feel it. It was part of my choice to get an international degree from a school in many countries and in a field where like aviation English is mostly spoken.

    I look around the world and see Russia’s Putin the only man standing up for Judeo-Christians in the world…along with Netanyahu who has his own problems surviving in the armpit of earth. Our own government has gone feral and anti-American with no road back.

    My husband asked my last week what good did he do in almost 21 years in Rangers and Special Forces. I had little I could answer him with. Except that I have been bear hugged by men I do not know. They recognize him from RIP, now RASP or Ranger Battalion and tell me they hated him then but what he taught them kept them alive later.

    We are gimped and getting older but I hope those men have taught the next generation as they will be our only hope.

    1. Hognose Post author

      A hearty D.O.L. back to your husband & you. (I’d thrown in RLTW, but I’m only a tab Ranger, not a real Ranger). Thanks for coming by. Matt is a hell of a good guy.

    2. Quill_&_Blade

      I share your opinion of President Putin.
      As far as 21 years of military service, it’s hard to know when it’s a cucumber, and when it’s a pickle, when to draw a line and say things have changed enough. I often remember an article I read years ago, don’t recall where. It featured comments by a US military officer in East Germany immediately after the fall of the curtain. He was comparing GIs who would follow orders to the East German troops who would hear an order, then decide if they wanted to follow it. So it is, just being there in the service was the right thing to do. I have theological speculations that support that idea, but they’re not ready for presentation.
      Overall, it’s not simple, especially for me. I’m a Christian, and I see the writing on the wall. It looks as though I’m a man without a country. While the troops are great, their leaders are wretched. I dabble in advertising, and I’m of the opinion that the undisputed, beyond a doubt, absolute best propaganda slogan ever was “I support the troops”. 4 words that I loath. I remember clearly during the first Gulf way hearing a radio news report of a high school student beaten by other students because he didn’t “support the troops”. One dares not say the Bozo politicians have gotten us in a bad war situation, or one is a traitor who doesn’t support the troops. BRILLIANT slogan, seriously. If you see me rail against the politicians, or say that we’re no longer “The Greatest Nation On earth”, I’m not criticizing military personnel.
      Making lines between what was and what is, is something we all have to do; but we can’t do that if we’re lying to ourselves. One of the biggest lies is based on public debt. If we had been trying to live with our means, we would collectively have asked years ago “What’s wrong here?” I think the answer has to do with what happened in the early 1960’s. I try to get people to contemplate that.

  18. Sawbuck

    This behavior isn’t new. When I lived in Northern VA circa 2003-2009 my dealer had a couple of audits. In every case it was someone with total antipathy for the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership of any kind. He figured it was part of the training – but the auditor was fresh out of college and clearly had an agenda. It doesn’t matter who the President is – the bureaucracy is forever.

  19. Robo

    Every single visit and inspection should be audio and video recorded. Post signs in the shop indicating this is being done.

  20. Anon for this.

    As far as ATF Inspectors copying FFL’s books while on routine compliance checks. It 100% happens now.

    My friend is a 07/02 SOT/FFL and I buy loads of stuff from and thru him. I am not an FFL nor do I sell guns or even build them. I’m a collector of both title I and II guns. It’s what I enjoy. I do not live in a border state w MX.

    Well, he was inspected. The inspector noticed my name all over his bound book. Multiple purchases. Crap piles. The guy asks my dealer ” who is this guy and why does he buy so much?” to which dealer answered ” He’s a big time collector is all. Always buys, never sells. Respected professional in xyz”, etc. The inspector copied all transfers related to me for that calendar year. The dealer friend called me afterwards w a heads up that I might be getting a call/visit from the ATF.

    Fast fwd about 6 mo. and my cell phone rings at work. It’s a local ATF field agent. He rattled off that I bought 95 firearms in the last 12 mo. and said he had been contacted by the inspector and “my case ” moved up the chain and eventually given to him to follow up on and that was the purpose of his call. He said ” I’m not accusing you of anything. I’m just required to talk to you about it”. He was polite and knowledgeable enough in our 10 min conversation. I explained that I was not a dealer but rather a collector and that certainly they already had all my data on file as I’m a regular machine gun buyer, etc. I told him I bought a large quantity of AR stripped lowers bc they were dirt cheap @ like $45 ea. and I put them in my attic and had no intention of selling them ( the truth). I asked him if there was a limit to how many I could buy knowing the answer of course. He said no as expected. More Chit chat. I told him if he was ever down at our local range and heard FA fire to drop by and say hello as its prob me. I did mention that had I known I was so close to busting 3 digits of gun purchases in 1 yr then I would have tried harder to make it a 100. Hah.

    That was that. No additional follow up. It’s been a couple yrs. I still buy MGs and semis albeit not in that large of quantities bc I have AR lowers falling out of my closets now. To be honest their follow up w me didn’t bother me. While I know many of you will balk and call me a commie bastard …I feel it’s ” not unreasonable” for the ATF to follow up w a dude who they notice has bought 100 guns in 12 mo. Come on. That’s fishy appearing at best ( and 100% legal! – my case) and potentially really bad at worst ( dealing guns without FFL whether domestic or abroad). So I don’t fault them. They were nice and reasonable and so was I. Sure , I could have bowed up on the phone to the ATF and told them to ” F. off, talk to my lawyer”….but would that have caused me more or less headache & money????? Regardless I have nothing to hide from them and couldn’t if I wanted to simply bc of all the MG stuff I play with. That’s just the nature of the hobby I have chosen. Now things certainly could have been different and if I even got a hint of ” this isn’t just a phone call” then sure I’d have done the whole attorney avenue and not said a word to them. I just used my judgement given more facts in real time than I can convey adequately here to you now in an email. Doesn’t mean I love the ATF or that I’m not a true patriot or that I’m a naive Dumbass either.

    Anyway that’s my story. The take home is that YES routine inspectors definitely do occasionally copy bound book info and run up their chain “suspicious activity” .

    1. Hognose Post author

      Yeah, I am waiting for the call, but I consider myself a collector and tinkerer. And they have all my stuff on file because of my “stamps” also.

      1. Boat Guy

        I would hope that no reasonable person would characterize “Anon” as a “commie bastard” or Dumbass” simply for talking to an ATF inspector instead of lawyering up. Each of us must assess the situation and act accordingly. I DO think it’s none of ATF’s business if Anon wanted to buy 200 firearms in a year; as long as procedure was followed. Is Anon a prohibited person? No? Has Anon paid the “transfer fee” when it was required? Yes? All Well and Good then.
        We already have a Federal Investigative Agency, ATF are tax-collectors and the idea that they have responsibility to “investigate” should not be the case. If an inspector believes there may be a violation of law it should be referred to Law Enforcement; of which ATF should NOT be a part.

    2. John M.

      IANAL, but I’m led to understand that talking to a federal agent without a lawyer can be a very bad idea. Lying to a federal officer is a crime, and mistakes on your part can turn into charges from them. Simple things like “how many guns did you buy last year?” if answered mistakenly could turn into charges if an agent is feeling frisky. Federal agents trying to make a big case love using that “crime” to turn people into informants.

      -John M.

  21. Docduracoat

    I am so jealous of Anon for this because of his post!
    Almost 100 gun buys in one year?
    NFA stuff?
    I spend $4,000 a year on ammo and sometimes get a rifle or a pistol on Fathers day.
    And I only shoot cheap plinking ammo.
    My slidefire turns my money into smoke and noise at an incredible rate even just using 3 round bursts.
    My wife is very pro gun and understanding, but we need other stuff besides just guns and ammo.
    Like food for the kids.
    Can I come over and play with some of your toys?

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