TTAG reader and lawyer Eric left the following comment underneath our post AG Holder Gives ATF Power to Confiscate Property
I’m an attorney and I represent an FFL dealer/SOT manufacturer. Last fall, about $110k worth of his property was stolen. This included NFA items, 20,000 rounds of ammunition, non-NFA firearms, and other “stuff.” He cooperated with local law enforcement, the ATF, prosecutors, insurance company, etc. Not only did this property constitute his inventory, but many of the items generated monthly revenue for his business. A significant amount of revenue. This was the end of his business . . .
They nabbed the perps two days later. That’s when the issues began. They recovered his property. Or some of it. (The other stuff was probably walked south of the border.) But, the ATF would not inform us what they recovered, nor would they speak with the insurance company — who took the position that the items were not “lost” because the ATF had possession. (Of what? we didn’t know.)
Then, months later, we received notice that the ATF had instituted a seizure and forfeiture action against the recovered items. Yes, you read that right. My client, the f’ing victim of the crime, was having HIS recovered stolen property seized and administratively forfeited. Now, there is a process. Within 15 days of the date of the notice (side note: “Date of the Notice” – not received. We got it with 3 days to spare, but at the start of a holiday weekend) a person claiming an ownership interest in the seized property may make a claim for return of the property, must prove ownership…and
Submit a $10k CASH bond to the ATF. “Cash bond.” My client was asked to send the ATF $10,000 dollars to get his stuff back.
Chew on that.
Outcome? Pursuant to Federal Regulations, the ATF has until tomorrow to respond.