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By Lee Williams

Dave Nagel, one of three co-owners of Black Metal Firearms in Mesa, Arizona, said there was something odd about the inspector the ATF sent to audit his gun shop late last year.

Pamela Scott, an Industry Operations Investigator, or IOI, from ATF’s Phoenix Field Division showed up in December, 2021. Her audit lasted two months and concluded in February, which ruined more than a few Christmases.

“People ask me why I waited to July to go public about this,” Nagel said. “The public needs to know that the crazy stuff the government is accused of doing, they’re actually doing.”

Nagel and Scott clashed from the very beginning. All of his records are on paper. Nothing is computerized.

“She asked me why our stuff wasn’t digital,” Nagel said. “I told her I wouldn’t trust her with our digital info.”

During another exchange, Scott told Nagel he had a lot of “gun nuts” frequenting his shop.

“I told her we prefer ‘gun enthusiast,’” Nagel said. “She said she prefers ‘gun nuts,’ and she works for the ATF?”

Scott found nothing in the shop’s books other than a few minor clerical errors. There were no missing firearms or other significant problems.

“She said she was going to put us in for revocation, and that it may change as it goes up the chain, but that was her recommendation,” Nagel said. “We didn’t sell guns to the drug cartels, like the ATF did. Everything we deal in is something that can readily be sold to a customer. There’s nothing here outlandish. We sell normal stuff to the common man, and she treated us like drug dealers.”

An illegal gun registry

Nagel noticed that Scott always had two cell phones – a government-issue phone and her personal cell. This became important when he caught her copying pages from his A&D Book – using her personal cell phone.

The ATF requires gun dealers to maintain an Acquisition and Disposition book – a log of every firearm that’s acquired by the shop, as well as personal information of the buyers.

“Once she started recording the information from our books, I confronted her. I was concerned she was creating a database,” Nagel said. “She claimed that copying our records with her personal cell phone was ‘part of the purview of her investigation.’”

Nagel has retained Scottsdale, Arizona attorney Derek Debus to help him fight the revocation of his Federal Firearm License. Debus reacted strongly when told of Scott’s actions.

“There’s no reason for her to be taking photographs of my client’s data,” Debus said. “It’s illegal. There are rules against it.”

Nagel took several videos of Scott copying his records and posted them on his social media. The videos have gone viral.

ATF declines to comment…again

Agent Scott declined to comment.

“Thank you for the email and yes, I see that you are calling me. I would appreciate you contacting our division PIO Cody Monday with any questions regarding my inspection of Black Metal Firearms. He may be able to answer any questions that you have at this time,” Scott said in an email.

Cody Monday, public information officer for ATF’s Phoenix Field Division, said he could not comment because the investigation was ongoing. Brendan Iber, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix office similarly declined to comment.


The ATF has recently come under fire for warrantless home inspections, questionable arrests, ignoring federal open-records laws and inflating “ghost gun” numbers, in the hopes that Congress will inflate its budget.

The agency is clearly ramping up their enforcement efforts as part of the Biden-Harris administration’s war on “rogue” gun dealers, which has caused FFL revocations to skyrocket a staggering 500%.

The Black Metal Firearms audit and the actions of ATF’s IOI clearly show – yet again – the agency is out of control.

The ATF is willing to do whatever it takes for a pat on the head from the current administration – even violate the law. This needs to be stopped immediately. They need to be brought under control, because their history proves that the ATF’s mistakes often end in bloodshed.


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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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  1. Why would anyone be surprised?
    Folks don’t join the DEA because they like drugs* or the FBI because they like kidnapping* so why would anyone ever think ATF agents hold a favorable view of guns and gun owners?

    *there are always exceptions

    • “ She said she was going to put us in for revocation.”

      My reply: “That’s fine. We’ll establish a new company name and then get another FFL. Thanks for playing.”

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  2. She needs to be unemployed. The BATFE needs to be disbanded. The NFA, GCA and all other unconstitutional regulations need to be removed, and anyone convicted of a crime of any of these needs to have that expunged and / or released from prison. Until that happens, we don’t have a free country. You don’t need permission to exercise a God given right. Let see if we can make this happen. Start with FJB.

  3. People need to start doxing all federal agents. They need to fear the citizenry and need to stop believing that they rule the citizenry.

    • You know I was just thinking, for security purposes, all visitors who wish to go behind the gun counter for business purposes, should have to surrender a driver’s licence and agency I’d, and be photographed, before they start their business.

  4. Brought under control?!?! WTF, small Gov conservatives…. this agency has 0 constitutional authority to exist. Vote Gold so libertarians can do what Republicans have refused to do during the multitude of opportunities they had fullcontrol of Congress and the WH.

    Democrats = full on gun control
    Republicans = gun control for sheep

    • Brother, you are not wrong!!

      Now, since we’re on the subject of “illegal” government agencies, do Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, etc., etc., et ad nauseum cetera.

    • The few libertarian candidates I have met while they were campaigning in my state didn’t seem to be pulling with both oars.

  5. “People ask me why I waited to July to go public about this,” Nagel said. “The public needs to know that the crazy stuff the government is accused of doing, they’re actually doing.”

    Kudos to him for doing it at all, but that’s literally the opposite of a logical answer to the question.

  6. Rules for the government.
    Oh ho now that made me laugh.
    Yeah theres rules alright but not for governments.
    Bettleback Bettleback Bettleback

  7. ATF agents are worthless human fecal material…They all need to be reassigned to the DEA or Border Patrol or flipping burgers…The ATF needs to be abolished…

    • MaddMaxx,

      I imagine she copied with her personal cell phone because:

      1) She figured it would be harder for firearm-friendly entities to obtain evidence that she copied information illegally. (Maybe outside entities can request the contents of her government-issued cell phone through a process as simple as the Freedom of Information ACT?) Once she gets home, she can transfer that data to an external flash drive and then erase it from her phone. And poof! there is no more (easy) evidence that it was on her phone. Furthermore, she may not be able to delete nor copy information from her government phone without special Information Technology staff authorization.

      2) She was not copying the information for government purposes–she was copying it to share with gun-grabber organizations so they can begin actively punishing (in very nasty ways) the plebes who dared to purchase firearms. Those gun-grabber organizations may even be paying her large sums of money for that information.

      • it is literally evidence of a crime comitted by her acting as an official representative of the United States government. Its a criminal violation of law for her to have made those pictures/videos.

        • No way Booger.
          The United States government never commits a crime.
          Get with the program. .
          Long Live King Biden

      • Okay, class…let’s recite again:

        Never, never, never register your gunns whenever possible. Your private property is none of the Government’s business.

      • It’s also possible that the camera function on her phone was disabled. A lot of military cell phones are like that–wouldn’t be surprised if Federal phones have similar restrictions.

        ***BUT…given that she’s conducting field investigations, it ‘should’ still have a functioning camera.***

        • This is almost certainly the case. However, there are ways to either have the camera activated on your government phone, or be given a camera if your job demands it.

          This sounds like a typical employee being too lazy to jump through the hoops to do things right. Which seems pretty stupid now that you know she was being recorded, and there will most likely be a court battle over her recommendation to take their license.

          If I was her boss she would be punished whether I cared about what she did or not, because when the agency gets sued, using her personal cell phone will muddy the waters and hinder their defense.

    • It’s a straightforward application of the Clinton Loophole (or the “Hillary Hole.”)

      Transparent attempt to get around public record keeping requirements and potential scrutiny.

      Because FYTW.

  8. Dealers here have started putting up signs warning:

    To all government agencies and personnel performing or partipating in inspections of any FFL record or records: We do not permit you entry carrying firearms and/or any audio or video or picture or graphics recording or producing or reproducing or recording or transmitting device, this includes what are referred to as ‘body cam’ or hidden surveillance devices. You are welcome to inspect, we are not denying you inspection. Your actions and speech and you while on premises or inspecting are being recorded by any means we decide when we decide.

    Private property owners can do that here.

      • “She claimed that copying our records with her personal cell phone was ‘part of the purview of her investigation.’”

        Her claim is a lie. There is no where in federal law where the ATF has authority or purview to make copies or recordings of FFL records with a cell phone during on premises inspection. Such requires a warrant.

        This is yet another example out of thousands of the ATF assuming and exercising authority they do not have.

        Any time a government authority or their personnel use the word or action of ‘purview’ instead of law reference it should sound alarms for you.

        • She obviously had a mission. To issue a revocation of the FFL and to do so by any means necessary.

  9. This is actually a common occurrence in the last year, ATF inspecting and making pictures or video of records with cell phones. I’m surprised FFL’s have not recorded it more frequently.

    Don’t be afraid to make videos of ATF activity when they show up. If they are in public view or on your property you have a First Amendment and legal right to so so. Do not let these ATF thug gang members bully or intimidate you.

    If they show up at your home armed or not demand a warrant be produced and if no warrant demand they leave immediately. Don’t threaten. If they do not leave call 911 and tell them you fear for your safety. But record the whole thing.

      • So are you suggesting that government doesn’t know the true identities of the people posting to this (and other) gun forums?

        If Redneck45 is interested in true anonymity then he better be prepared for a non-trivial answer.

        • ^^This^^

          It *is* possible to post truly anonymous content, but it requires taking steps, and never wavering from those steps. Otherwise, write everything you post with the expectation that some glowie or computer scraping software is reading it.

          Then again, if the 2A and the USC is truly the law of the land, then what have we to fear?

        • Don’t use a unique, easily searchable name (if you’re concerned). Everything I post, as well as those other Dudes, is for entertainment purposes only.

    • I dunno. And here all this time I thought the name on your birth certificate was “Redneck 45lc”. My bad.

      I use an online handle for the same reason you do – I don’t want to be doxxed by a bunch of Leftist/fascist @$$holes like MajorStupidity and dacian the demented dunce – it would bother me to have to shoot their sorry @$$es, or those of their deluded fellow travelers. If I want to be MORE ‘anonymous’??? How about ‘don’t comment online, on the INTERNET, ya moron!!’????

  10. As a gov’t agent that does inspections it is illegal for us to put anything on our personal cellphones or cameras. That is a terminating offense AND the personal cellphone is now open to FOIA because it has or has had gov’t business information stored on it.

    • Albert the Fake British Ponce,

      The only thing even RESEMBLING a “gov’t agent” that you are is (i) a Soros-sponsored git of a liar, and (ii) the ‘bottom’ of your local FBI agent’s weekly buttf***. Go away, you lying, fake-Limey POS.

    • Oooh, I like that idea. Since this twat of an agent took those photos on her cell phone, let’s all do an FOIA request of all records on her phone. ATF will illegally not respond, ads usual, but, fuck it! It won’t make her look good at all.

  11. … the actions of ATF’s IOI clearly show – yet again – the agency is out of control.

    That depends on your objective.

    If your objective is adhering to common decency and serving justice, then yes the ATF is out of control.

    If your objective is advancing the political agenda of the Far Left–even when that agenda violates common decency and justice–then the ATF is well under control.

    • IF you have a case SUE them. If not then shut the elfin up. It’s NOT a case of COMMON SENSE, DECENCY or even MORALLITY it’s all about the LAW If yoy do not bloody well like it then elect some one who will change the law.
      Do not blame the Federal or State Agencies or the Police. They do not make the law and they are neither judges or Juries and YOU, the Citizen, have every right to challenge any actions they take in Court if you have evidence that those Agencies have overstepped their LEGAL remits in any way. n No Agency, the Police or individualmis above the Law in a Democracy Be aware though that if you lose it may cost dear. As you well know that if enough of you get together you can bring a CLASS ACTION and thus spread the cost

      • IF you have a case SUE them. If not then shut the elfin up.

        Narration: Geezer from the UK chimes in, with no understanding of politics in a foreign country to which he doesn’t belong, lecturing others on topics he doesn’t fully understand. Talks about how it’s “all about the law” but doesn’t understand that the law literally says specific government entities are not to possess or use a registry of gun owners. Says “sue” them, to a federal agency with no oversight. Says not to “blame” state agencies or police, who we aren’t even talking about. Says not to blame federal agencies as they do not make the law, however, they are currently breaking the law. Then naively talks about a class action suit against the government, as if the government would allow a suit against themselves.

      • Albert the Fake-Limey Ponce,

        The law ALREADY PROHIBITS the behavior complained of, you lying fake-Limey ponce. Sod off, swampy!!

      • Have you kissed the Queen’s ass yet Albert? You may have to pull your head out of her ass a bit to do it.
        I suspect you actually have your head up Joe Biden’s ass. it seems more plausible.

  12. I worked as a county employee for 15 years and saw a lot of low level employees making up rules as they went about doing their job all of the time. They will read a rule that gives 1 inch of authority and they push that inch as far as they can. In addition, the above actions listed in the article that BATFE is doing to increase their budget was one of the reasons for the way the BATFE did their assault on Mt Carmel in Waco, Texas. All of these “unconstitutional” agencies need to be defunded and disbanded. If it is not listed in the US Constitution Article one than it is an illegal government agency.

  13. When I was on the job, I was a Police supervisor for the last five years before retirement. I would see some of the newer officers who were very tech savvy using their private cell phone to take crime scene photos and inter agency texting. The department supplied work phones, paid for by the dept.
    We actually had to set in place a policy against private owned cell use for any department investigation or communication related use. Here’s why: Say your an officer, and you take a photos of something benigh as a minor traffic accident. Legally, your phone now can be subpeonaed and because you used it in the course of work, it is not subjected to 4th amendment protection. Any derogotory or so called off color texts or other photos can now be discovered and used against you to paint you as a racist or other means. An attorney now also has acess to all your family related info and othe information that is no longer considered private. Yea, so pretty stupid

  14. I presume you mean illegal in the sense that the law is being broken by agents of the State . What law exactly is being broken if I may be so bold to ask.? And if so is the State being suedm for mdamages?? Surelybnit bis in nthe interests that an oC FFICIALM< stock check is made on inventories ofn what are potentially damgerous materials, After all automobile and Food Premises among other's are open to inspection so why not Gun Shops if for TAX purposes.
    If there is nothing to hide then there is nothing to worry about is there if Inventories OUT match Invoices IN then all's well is it not?? It's complaining about this kind of thing that draws attention to GUN lobby and makes ordinary Joe Citizeb n think that there is something going on that should not be I'd have thought that it's very much in all mparts of the gun lobbies interests to co-operate.
    In fact I would think it's a good idea to make SECURE storage, inventory and safety checks in all parts of the Firearms industry, from manufacturers to users, a condition of license.

    • Albert the Fake-Limey Ponce,

      1. Federal law requires all official government actions to be “public records”. Public records must be certain requirements, and be retained in OFFICIAL government data bases (as just one example, police notes of investigations – yeah, PERSONAL NOTES, written on paper, by investigating policemen, must become part of a the file if there is a prosecution – I have friends who were criminal defense lawyers who’ve won cases on that basis).

      2. Federal law PROHIBITS creating or maintaining a database of firearms or firearm owners – by a “federal agent” making copies of such records, it is the necessary precursor to creation of such a database.

      But you actually knew all that, because you only PRETEND to be ignorant and stupid, as part of your Soros cover. You aren’t British; you know F***-ALL about firearms; most of what you CLAIM to know about “gun control” laws is errant male bovine feces; and you are a lying c***.

      Now, sod off, swampy.

    • Albert The Queen’s Ass Kisser…..why do you insist on continuing to be a anti gun dumb ass who knows nothing on the subject of that which he speaks a pro gun website?
      Inquiring minds want to know…………
      Please pull your head out of your ass

  15. None of this behavior by the ATF is new as they have done the same thing in the past to reduce the number of gun dealers. In my area a number of decades ago they cleaned house and shut down over 3/4 of the gun dealers in what we called “the night of the long knives”. And the ATF took away licenses for the most outrageous of reasons such as using paper clips instead of staples or nailing people who were not zoned for business which was a local matter not an ATF matter. People can get exemptions for not being zoned for business in certain cases but the ATF ignored that.

    Also if you protest to the board that you must apply to it is run by the ATF themselves so it is a joke even challenging a ruling taking away a persons license.

    Only by calling your Congressmen and putting these outrages on line thereby embarrassing the ATF will it be even slowed down but the ATF is acting under Presidential orders to get rid of the majority of gun dealers nationwide which makes the large dealers ecstatic because then the price of guns will sky rocket because there will be very little competition. Higher gun prices means less guns being sold. And that is the real reason for the ATF purge and liquidation of gun dealers in the U.S. Real Rouge gun dealers are rare. Notice Mexico has only one gun store and that is Biden’s ultimate plan just one gun store nationwide for the super rich.

  16. One of the problems with some of these laws is that Congress attaches no penalty for breaking them so agents like Scott do as they wish with impunity. Bureaucrats have become an unelected 4th branch of government and there’s no check and balance on them.

    Our government hasn’t worked as the Founders intended for quite a while now and the trend towards centralized authoritarianism is accelerating.



        • Sounds like how I imagine the literally big-mouthed guy from that Kayak commercial sounds. He and a woman are sitting at a nice dining restaurant and he’s shouting at her over the table. I don’t know what he sounds like because I mute all ads but…his name might be NTexas.

  18. #1. Post random video.
    #2. Say it’s the ATF being unjust to get people angry.
    #3. Bring in the Second Amendment Foundation dough.

    • Its the ATF…same person showed up at a gun store here earlier in the year and did the same thing.

  19. Sounds like FFLs should bring in their Attorney when they are being investigated by the ATF, just to monitor.

    • Assuming $300 an hour for an attorney, times 8 h ours a day, times five days a week ($12,000) time two months (8 weeks). Could your business take such hit? And what lawyer is going to close up or could close up his shop for two months?

    • then their finger prints or dna would have been on it and she could have claimed they tried to plant pictures or attacker her. If they wiped it clean they would have had to remove her finger prints or dna as well in the cleaning, and that would have been suspicious in its self that they possibly did it too.

      Nah, if the ATF is going to violate the law like this the FFL probably doesn’t want to destroy the evidence of that crime.

      On the other hand the ATF or she might delete them but there goes her couple of clerical errors out of an other wise pristine and complete and perfect compliance with law by the FFL.

  20. “She said she was going to put us in for revocation.”

    I’ve seen that *exact* game play out locally years back, and it didn’t end well for the local gunshop.

    This one was the first gun store-pawnshop I worked for in the mid 1980s. The owner of the shop… well, he had a problem with women in general, and didn’t like the female BATF agent sent in to do the audit, and she got the FFL pulled, *immediately*.

    The shop owner stupidly thought all he had to do was make a few calls to get the issue ‘taken care of’. Wrong. They never got the FFL reinstated, most likely due to the shop owner’s obstinacy.

    It was really weird walking into that shop years later, and seeing 1,000+ guns on the racks and in the cases, but none of them for sale. What he eventually did was buy all of them in his inventory for his “personal use”, but left them on the racks and in the gun cases in the shop.

    Yeah, the owner was a weird dude. You should have seen his dad’s house, you’d understand where the weird came from. Walk in the front door, and you were staring at the muzzle of a cannon with a bore of about 4 inches pointed at you. In the den downstairs, on one back wall to the left was stacked about 100+ Civil War era long guns. Just carelessly stacked against the wall.

    Anyways – Back to the issue for that shop –

    I hope he hires competent legal help and gets the FFL re-instated, or he may need to play games like putting the business in his wife’s or children’s name.

    As a holder of an FFL, the BATF can make your life miserable if they want, as he is now discovering… 🙁

    • Which is why I refuse to buy any NFA firearm/silencer/anything requiring a “ATF/ Gov. tax stamp. I can negate the noise with ear plugs/muffs easier than deal with ATF bitches like the one in this video.

  21. “She said she prefers ‘gun nuts,’ and she works for the ATF?”

    Jackbooted thugs like boots, water is wet and ATF agents like to go after people with guns and shit. Shocker, I know, try to calm yourself down. If necessary fainting couches can be provided.

    Reminds me of that sign.

    First we had Empires ruled by Emperors.
    Then we had Kingdoms ruled by Kings.
    Now we have countries ruled by…

    Anyway, just for IOI Scott:

  22. In 2018 the summer after I retired one weekday afternoon I stopped by a True Value Hardware that in the fashion of northern West Virginia and western Pennsylvania has morphed into a country department store including grocery and gun shop. In an area of the gun shop hidden from the street were ten or so obviously plain clothes ATF Agents with a bundle of 4473s a scanner and a laptop. Three guesses what they were doing. I ignored them, browsed the shotguns and quietly left as I was deluded to think they might bother me for having caught them doing something illegal, but nothing was said.

  23. I retired as an ATF Regulatory Compliance investigator about 5 years ago. We did this ALL the time. But lawfully. And never put in any of this information into a searchable fed database, especially any gun registry, both which are very unlawful.

    The Acquisition & Disposition log books, and the Form 4473 (fed background check forms) and sometimes a state form if required by the state. Only a small fraction of the forms or log pages would have violations, unless it was a real small home-based FFL who did not have many forms and would be screwing them all up – usually blanks or not enough information: address info, gun info, NICS background check response info, DL info, etc. The Cabella’s and Bass Pro’s and Farm & Fleets of the world had computerized a lot of their forms that we approved, but most FFL’s still used

    Almost every week in the year when we did a regulatory compliance audit on Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL). BUT, only when we were doing record audits where we found clear violations of recordkeeping requirements. I would take a phone pic of every F473 (background check form, use to always be the “yellow” form.

    I had the exact same job as this gal – ATF Regulatory Investigator. We usually always a good relationship with these FFL’s unless they were naturally jerks and had a chip on their shoulder about fed workers. And we always treated them with respect and often joked around with them. HAHA! Some guys would put their pen-cameras in their pockets and try to get us to say something we shouldn’t, but that was very rare.

    Someone (reporter) is ignorant and blowing this out of proportion with the help of the FFL. Makes for a real good story, eh? WE’RE FROM THE GOVMENT AND W ARE HERE TO HELP!!


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