A TTAG reader and police chief writes:
I have a story for you regarding the investigation mindset of the ATF. I’ll give you a short synopsis. I’m a LEO, specifically the police chief of a small town in Kansas. One day a feller started beating on my door at the house. He was being pretty aggressive at it. I looked out and didn’t recognize him. No ID, just a clipboard, figured it was Kirby salesman or something. I typically answer the door with a pistol concealed behind the door or my leg, etc. if I don’t know the knocker . . .
Dude asked me if I was me. Yup. Dude says, hey why’s your hand behind your back, I reply because you’re knocking like an ass so I’m holding a pistol until I find out why. Dude breaks leather, steps back, and shows ATF ID from a pocket.
Well that’s weird.
OK, so there’s a brief period where we’re trying to make a negotiated surrender. I explained I’ve had multiple threats over the years and that’s why I typically answer the door that way.
I agreed to show him my emergency management (state/federal) ID. He escorts me through my house, past my uniforms, a patch collection, duty gear and finally to my ID.
Dude still wasn’t 100 percent sure when he saw it. So he does the “Do you know why I’m here?” line. By this time I’m being a total smart-ass. Nope, lay it on me sir.
Well we got a tip you had an illegal silencer and were shooting at kids in the park. (Apparently he had just left there looking around, that’s where he parked anyway). Well sir, my silencer is legal, along with all Class 3 weapons I’m issued by the city. Dude was like, oh, you have a stamp. Yep, and a M16, and a MP5 (pretty sure I mentioned that one).
Anyway, he then showed me the Post-it note he drove two hours to investigate. My name, along with a feller I had arrested for pointing a rifle at his neighbor.
So a criminal tips the ATF saying some wack-o is shooting at kids in a park. Don’t call locals, don’t call 911. Kick it around a few days then draw on the police chief.
Things would have been a lot more amicable if someone picked up a phone and said, hey, local cop or sheriff, have you ever heard of this guy?
My city manager became involved and spoke to the ATF’s KC division. Sorry ma’am, it’s a false report. She asks, “Is our chief under investigation?” Nope. Will you give me something for his file? That was July. We’re still waiting on that letter . . .