Incendiary Image of the Day: ATF’s Message to Licensed Gun Dealer Bob Adams

ATF's message to gun dealer Bob Adams after they raided his house (courtesy

After DHS and ATF agents raided his house, gun dealer Bob Adams found this tableau waiting for him in front of his gun safe. “The middle finger was a novelty item I bought in Mexico some 30 years ago,” Bob told TTAG. “It was buried in a pile of junk. Someone dug it out and placed it there, leaving a clear message.” Click here to read Bob’s account of the raid. Updates on the progress of his case as they occur.


  1. avatar cigardog says:

    Stay classy, ATF.

  2. avatar John S. says:

    I have never seen such a corrupt agency as the ATF. Even the DEA of the 70’s or Chicago PD of the late 20’s and early 30’s were drop dead honest by comparison. Their sole mission since shooting up the Branch Dividians has been fabricating crimes and sending free weapons to the Mexican drug cartels.

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      “or the chicago pd from the late 20’s to the 2000’s.”

      fixed that for you.

    2. avatar William Burke says:

      Free? Maybe, but I was thinking, “in exchange for their worth in illegal drugs.”

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        “in exchange for their weight in illegal drugs.”

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          You’re right. My error.

  3. avatar ST says:

    Right back atcha BATFE.

    Perhaps this is little comfort to Mr. Adams, but I prefer this single finger salute to a documented bullpucky PR statement any day of the week .

    There’s something to be said for honest hostility from your adversary .

    1. avatar disthunder says:

      Agreed. We all know which way the lead will fly first if the ATF shows up.

  4. avatar SdubM45 says:

    “Yea fu*k you too.”
    -RJ Macready

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      What’s the point of all that. I don’t feel like reading it all.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        I have the hottest investment tip of the last 5 years: invest as much as you can in rope manufacturer stock.

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Actually, it makes for some very interesting reading.
        The search warrant return, (basically a sworn receipt showing what you seized), shows nothing was seized.

        So, if their paperwork shows nothing seized, there is no evidence of a crime.

        The search warrant looks like it was for a utility trailer and it’s contents. Not sure about the photo or where it was taken. Guess it could have been in the trailer.
        And I would agree. Extremely unprofessional.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          That would be either ATF or DHS – take your pick. WRT fabricating fairy tales that ruin peoples lives, they’re at the top of their game. As far as stopping actual crime – well, let’s just say they’d fsck up a wet dream. Two colossal, mouth-breathing wastes of money.

      3. The third SCRIBD link in particular is damning. It is an exhaustive and detailed list of alleged crimes related to gun import and sales, removed and edited log pages, guns imported to Canada and then evidently smuggled in, evading fees and taxes, using the wrong (unlicensed) entities for transactions, moving guns into and out of his personal inventory to avoid inspections and fees, et cetera.

        Many pages of details, following up on the original inspections which began in 2009 and have been followed by an investigation that ran a long time before they made this year’s seizures.

        I am puzzled at the “no items seized” writing, as they clearly had a double-boatload of items on their list (matching what Adams describes above well enough).

        It looks ugly for Adams, unfortunately, and also ugly and unprofessional on the part of the ATF agents — but it is very hard indeed to square the details of the affidavit with Adams’ purported “by the book” approach to FFL transactions. I’ve seen a lot of affidavits; this one seems far too detailed to be merely a fishing expedition.

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      4. avatar shawn says:

        Matt…you are a writer/blogger/journalist. Reading and investigation is at your core.

        1. In fairness to Matt, he is not a professional investigative journalist, writer or, to my knowledge, even a blogger. He contributes here and adds his .02 as much as the rest of us. If he doesn’t want to take the time to read the documents offered, that’s his call, but I will grant that it puts him in the position of expressing points of view based more on assumptions than on facts.

          But, hey, when has that ever stopped anyone from expressing an opinion on a gun forum?

          : )

        2. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Thanks. That’s almost exactly what went through my head as a response, but then I decided I didn’t feel like typing. 🙂

      5. It provides factual information instead of hysterical speculation. One can question the alleged facts, but at least the US Government’s reason for what they did is spelled out here.

        Seems this is a better source of information to debate and argue about than automatically assuming that:

        a) The gun owner was treated wrongly.
        b) The government acted wrongly in this case.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Yeah, I was just looking for the nickel tour, like Tom and Keith gave, above. I just didn’t feel like reading through dozens of pages of legalese looking for the smoking gun (or the smoking gun that wasn’t there). Thanks.

        2. avatar JurisCani says:

          Even if there was a legitimate warrant, if it was served in the fashion related n the post…
          a) The gun owner was treated wrongly.
          b) The government acted wrongly in this case.”

  5. avatar John A. Smith says:

    I dislike the ATF as much as anyone on here, but as a trial lawyer, and having spent a good hour or so looking at the case documents, news stories, and reading that Mr. Adams was indicted a couple months ago, even I’ve got to admit that the case against him looks like it has legs.

    That doesn’t excuse the JBT routine the ATF pulled, or all of the unjustified seizures they executed in this case, but let’s at least be honest: importing firearms without paying duty on them, removing import serial numbers, and improperly moving firearms to the books only when selling them is illegal. And as an FFL, it’s almost certain he knew it.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      “That doesn’t excuse the JBT routine the ATF pulled…”

      That search was executed like a third world military raid against an insurgent encampment. Pathetic. If this is what they teach at Quantico and up in Maryland, somebody (like an adult) needs to take an in-depth look at the training regime.

    2. avatar Sam says:

      As a trial lawyer, do you always just rely on the government documents? If so, I’d hate to be your client. There’s an entirely different story in the defendant’s documents and exhibits filed in the same court. Take a look.

      About 1700 guns seized, and nearly 1700 returned. That may say something about the government’s case.

      1. avatar John A. Smith says:

        Perhaps you’d best read before you run your mouth. I said I reviewed the case documents. As in, I read the file on Pacer. I said nothing about “government” documents, nor confining my analysis thereto. And I’m well aware that “nearly” all were returned. You think that means shit for the case against him? The last time I checked, one count was enough for a conviction.

        Seriously, you’re one of those folks who thinks you walk if you don’t get mirandized, aren’t you? I love you people…folks like you put my kids through college.

        1. avatar William Burke says:


        2. avatar Ralph says:

          @John A. Smith, as one lawyer to another, all I can say is that lawyers like you put my daughter through college.

        3. avatar Sam says:

          Mr. Smith: Counselor, you may be a trial lawyer as you say, but you sound much more like a prosecuting attorney than a defense attorney. Indeed, one count is sufficient for a conviction. But that count has to be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. Accordingly, you might want to go back to your research…. Are you absolutely certain that, as you say, “importing firearms without paying duty on them, removing import serial numbers, and improperly moving firearms to the books only when selling them is illegal”? Or are you just “shooting from the hip”? If you are a defense attorney, have you missed some subtle (or not so subtle) exceptions? Bet your clients would be pleased to know the quality of your research. [Sarcasm – in case you missed it]

        4. avatar twency says:

          Sam said “that count has to be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt.”

          No, it doesn’t. “Beyond a shadow of a doubt” is not a burden of proof used in a criminal (or civil) proceeding.

        5. avatar Sam says:

          Picky, picky…. All right then, the count has to be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

          Jeeze, don’t make a federal case out of it…..

        6. avatar Robert says:

          Mr. Smith-Now that YOU have Ran Your Mouth, here we are, over two years later, and I’m seeing this for the first time on the Local News. ALL guns were reported to have been returned, yet many were broken into pieces, and one Very Valuable gun was NOT ever returned. NO Charges were filed, yet, Mr. Adams is angered that this Unconstitutional violation of the 4th Amendment against illegal Searches and Seizures should NEVER have happened in the first place. APD HSI Agents were shown at his home, and at least three different Fed Agencies were involved, at great expense to u.S for America’s paying Unconstitutional, “Volunteer Only” Taxes. Mr. Adams is saying the damage was over $1 million-not sure if that’s Just the damage to his Firearms, or if it includes the interference of his Commerce, Libel, Slander, and the huge loss his business took over the three years of this illegal nonsense against an honest businessman. Most weapons were over 50 year old collectible guns-Very few of which would have S/N’s on them! I have an AR-15 without a S/N, and it’s perfectly legal, and this can be verified on the villainous ATF’s Website. I built it myself, and used a Lower Receiver that had no S/N, nor did it require one. Level III Armor-Front and Side-not the useless Level II that most “cops” wear, and “One and Done” Liberty Ammunition, 2,000FPS Muzzle Velocity in my S&W .40 Cal Glock, with up to 22 round magazines (9mm has 33 rounds, and with +P, has the same Muzzle Velocity as the .40). The Second Amendment was written for the current Revolution-so far “peaceful”, mostly…not “Home Defense” or “Hunting”, as you hear so many Liberal Marxists say that big magazines, Pallets of Ammo, et al. are Not necessary for-missing the point, much like the “Birthers” didn’t even address the REAL Constitutional Requirements for NBCs’ requirements, which are both Parents be born in America, to Americans, which is why Obama was NOT QUALIFIED to Run for POTUS-which he really didn’t. He was running for President and CEO of the U.S. Corporation! Do some research and homework-true Patriots know the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers, front to back, along with the backgrounds of the people running for Office. Hitlery has my vote-To be sent to Prison right after Adjudication for High Treason, though she should be put to death, along with Obama, as soon as we have him removed from power. that leaves the other 844 current D.C. Criminal Gangsters, and the many former criminal members, back to Bush 41 for 9/11. That was the beginning of the Destruction of America from Within, which Obama has done much better than anyone else SINCE Bush 41. I hope his real father, George Scherff, is also found guilty of his Nazi treasonous actions, posthumously-lest we discover he’s been cloned and is alive. Anyone who says “We don’t have that technology” as an excuse, is just pathetic-the most destructive force used on 9/11 was a developing technology when Wallace D. Wattles was writing “The Science of Getting Rich” back in 1910. When you’re tried for your crimes, and your assets are frozen, then I can use my share to pay to put my Child through a REAL EDUCATION!

  6. avatar Kyle says:

    Whether in the right or the wrong, that seems incredibly unprofessional on the part of the ATF agents. I read an interesting article though once from a gun control proponent who said that secretly, the ATF is something the gun rights folk want as the part of the government that regulates guns, because if not the ATF, it would be the FBI, and groups like the NRA would have a lot less say and influence over gun regulation if the FBI was doing it as opposed to the ATF. So the ATF is an agency that the gun rights folk love to hate on the surface, but secretly need to help keep gun control more at bay than it otherwise might be.

    That was what the article said, paraphrasing, anyway. I am not sure of its accuracy.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      I disagree; compared to the ATF, the FBI is a PARAGON of good procedure and decent practices.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I’d take the FBI over the ATF any day.

  7. avatar GuyFromV says:

    There’s always the NSA.

  8. avatar Art Van Delay says:

    What did the guy do to warrant an ATF visit?

  9. avatar WLCE says:

    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……….”…\………. _.·´

    Back at ya ATF.

    You rotten c0 cksuckers deserve to be disbanded and thrown into the unemployment line alongside the DEA, NSA, and CIA.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      This! 🙂

  10. The papers certainly make Adams out to be a criminal, but that is their purpose. If an agent came to the magistrate asking for a search warrant on someone who broke no law they would be laughed at. Mr. Adams may be guilty of a crime, or he may not be guilty. All I know at this point is I know the ATF is a bunch of thugs and I would not put anything past them.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:


  11. avatar AK says:

    FWIW, there’s nothing yet that proves who placed the hand in that position. It could have been Adams.

  12. avatar Hannibal says:

    Meh. Kinda funny, if a bit juvenile. In the annals of unprofessionalism it ranks… not high.

  13. avatar shawn says:

    10 months later…with the picture. I think that is a plant.

    1. Agree, Shawn, in this particular case I think we should all be a bit cautious against assuming that the guy involved is merely the innocent victim of the evil ATF.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Yeah, isn’t anyone else at least a little suspicious that this egregious example of unprofessionalism and disdain wasn’t mentioned at all in the original article about the raid? I mean, the whole point of that article was to show how bad the ATF and DHS are, but no mention of this rather juicy little detail? Then we get a photo ten months later?

        The needle on my bullshit meter isn’t pegged, but it’s twitching.

        The saddest part is, whether it’s true or not, it’s totally believable. That’s how far our “law enforcement” agencies have fallen in America, where this sort of behavior wouldn’t surprise anyone.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          The idea in your last paragraph echoes a similar comment I made in a recent Digest:

          For my part, at least, the point is that I can’t read that and immediately dismiss it. The point is that I can read that and say, “Yeah, I can totally see that happening.” That is a problem.

        2. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Depressing, isn’t it?

        3. avatar M60E3 says:

          Quite so.

  14. avatar Pat says:

    ATF is evil and must be destroyed.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      “Dispersed” would be good enough for me.

  15. avatar AJ says:

    Any word or update on this case?

  16. avatar mapriceak says:

    All the arguments about “legal” and “ATF regulations”….really??? Where the hell does any of this fit in with “shall not be infringed”?? That’s the issue! The ATF and ALL gun regulations are blatantly unconstitutional to begin with! As long as they can keep us divided over bullshit like this, they win.

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Yep. And that’s precisely the plan, isn’t it? Anyone who doesn’t believe “shall not be infringed” means exactly what it says is wasting everyone’s time here.

    2. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Spot on!

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