Skip to comments.In Border States, BATFE Asks: "May We See Your Guns?"
Posted on 06/21/2009 7:00:52 AM PDT by HotLead61
Friday, June 19, 2009
NRA-ILA has recently received several calls from NRA members in border states who have been visited or called by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In some cases, agents have asked to enter these people's homes, and requested serial numbers of all firearms the members possess.
In each case, the agents were making inquiries based on the number of firearms these NRA members had recently bought, and in some cases the agents said they were asking because the members had bought types of guns that are frequently recovered in Mexico.
This kind of questioning may or may not be part of a legitimate criminal investigation. For example, when BATFE traces a gun seized after use in a crime, manufacturers' and dealers' records will normally lead to the first retail buyer of that gun, and investigators will have to interview the buyer to find out how the gun ended up in criminal hands. But in other cases, the questioning may simply be based on information in dealers' records, with agents trying to "profile" potentially suspicious purchases.
On the other hand, some of the agents have used heavy-handed tactics. One reportedly demanded that a gun owner return home early from a business trip, while another threatened to "report" an NRA member as "refusing to cooperate." That kind of behavior is outrageous and unprofessional.
Whether agents act appropriately or not, concerned gun owners should remember that all constitutional protections apply. Answering questions in this type of investigation is generally an individual choice. Most importantly, there are only a few relatively rare exceptions to the general Fourth Amendment requirement that law enforcement officials need a warrant to enter a home without the residents' consent. There is nothing wrong with politely, but firmly, asserting your rights.
If BATFE contacts you and you have any question about how to respond, you may want to consult a local attorney. NRA members may also call NRA-ILA's Office of Legislative Counsel at (703) 267-1161 for further information. Whether contacting a local attorney or NRA, be sure to provide as many details as possible, including the date, time, and location, agent's name, and specific questions asked.
Copyright 2009, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes. 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 800-392-8683
Anyone out there have a story? Please post it here so we can learn from your experience.
I would add, if questioned it would be wise to record the interview with the knowledge of the BATFE agent or to take notes at the time of the “interview”.
Excellent point, padre.
“May we see your guns?” That’s five words. My answer would contain only two.
I have no illegal guns - I have no guns, in fact. They were stolen by pixies in the dead of night. If you can show me where a gun I bought was used in a crime or recovered from felons, do so. If that’s the case the gun was stolen and I want it back. No you can’t come in without a warrant.
I think that their serving of a warrant involves a huge, commando-style raid.
Never volunteer information, don't do their job for them.If they ever say this information will or could help you, don't say another word!
I like the way you think.
My answer would be shorter. In the words of General McCauliffe, when asked to surrender at Bastogne, replied: “Nuts”.
Right after I see your search warrant.
It's only a minor point contained in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but WHO CARES ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION ANYMORE?
Jack Booted Thug Alert.
and who is leading this pack of thugs? Lon Horiuchi, perhaps???
I would not even open the outer security door for them. Do not let them in the huse.
But Officer you guys were here last week and I surrendered all my weapons to agents Tyrone Kweshana and Juan Mexicano.
While waiting from them to return, put some kevlar body armor on your dog and hide your kittens in stomp proof boxes.
Certainly..... as soon as you produce a warrant. Good day.
Hold on while I roll up my sleeves, flunky.
(And no, not as bad as Michelle's.). THAT would send the flunky screaming into the night.
2 mics. Check 1 check 2.
I’d be interested to see if the information about the purchases is coming from the use of the electronic 4473 offered by BATFE. BATFE really doesn’t have any other way of knowing unless they are pulling the information during compliance inspections.
The electronic 4473 system is supposed to be secure and not accessable by BATFE over the net... but I wouldn’t trust that in any way, shape, or form... which is why we won’t use it.
A way to avoid these nosy BATF thugs is to purchase your firearms from private parties....no paper trail.
If asked this question by the BATF, I think my likely answer would be, “only after I’m outta ammo.”
...and how hard is it to find a Clinton/Obama appointed federal judge to sign the "no-knock, ram-the-door, shoot-the-dog, handcuff-the-kids, seize-the-weapons warrant"?
- Records indicated the suspect has been purchasing many assault weapons and ammunition.
- The suspect frequently posts comments on a right-wing hate website.
- Suspect refused to cooperate with and was rude to the BATFE case worker.
- Suspect refused to establish his "need" for the weapons and ammunition and has refused a voluntary "safety audit" of his weapons....."
That's how they avoid your Constitutional rights, by the unspoken threat of a raid - with a warrant of course.
So the warrant can't be a civil visit, you have proven your animosity and you must be met with force with the warrant.
Somehow I don't think that is the intent of the warrant rule.....
May I see your warrant?
That is the answer, do you have a warrant? If not, hit the road.
Denying agent’s access sans any other fact is insufficient probable cause to get a search warrant. Of course in Obama nation, that would probably not apply. So, how about this answer, yes as soon as the zero provides a voluntary copy of his certificate of live birth? At least that would get it to the courts in a supression hearing.
I would say ... what guns ... I don’t own any firearms.
“BATFE Asks: “May We See Your Guns?”
No. No you may not.
Officer, certainly, but only when you have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, AND THEN COME BACK WITH A WARRANT.
Umm not to be Old fashioned here, but what the H*ll happened to the concept of Probable Cause?
Since when do they have the right to randomly search people’s homes under this vague reasoning?
I would also add that if the agents refuse your attempt to record the interview then I would tell them that nothing is happening till your lawyer is able to join you for the interview.
Is that the same way as in Social Security Numbers were not to be used as Identification numbers? ;)
Waco style comes to mind !
“an NRA member as “refusing to cooperate.” “?
Get a search or arrest warrant or get the hell off MY property.
How’s that for uncooperative?
In Border States, BATFE Asks: “May We See Your Guns?”
Sure. As soon as you show me your warrant.
The only answer that an American can or should give to that question from a Government agent.
Not to drone on and on about quaint little concepts like our Constitutional rights and all, but IIRC, back when they started those sobriety check points, one of the main objections was that people were being searched without probable cause.
It was another case of the erosion of our rights it was decided that the enforcement of DWI laws was more important.
It used to be that the government couldn’t just randomly decide to search persons on the street or search people’s homes for no damn good reason.
So what’s the justification here?
Here's my lawyer's number, goodbye.
The BATF seems to be on a fishing expedition. They are asking for consent searches because they don't have enough info for a warrant. The key to consent searches is that the subject has to say yes.
I would be interested to see if they could get a warrant. Even if they went warrant shopping they probably wouldn't stand up in court later.
Step 1. Grab video camera and begin recording the entire encounter.
Step 2. Demand to see credentials and WRITE DOWN the names of all involved.
Step 3. Demand, do not ask, DEMAND to see a duly constituted Warrant.
Step 4. If no Warrant is produced order, do NOT ask, the BATFE thugs off your property with a stern warning not to return without said Warrant.
Step 5. Note license plates of all vehicles involved.
Step 6. Upload video of encounter to Youtube along with a written narrative including the names of the alleged ATFE agents involved.
Step 7. Notify your local Sheriff of the ATF activities and DEMAND that the Sheriff require written permission before the ATFE can engage in ANY such activities in the future.
Step 8. Retain counsel. Make copies of videos and written records and give them to said Counsel.
That'll do for a start.
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