atf agents
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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By Lee Williams

If there is any federal agency that can be counted on to create a problem just to justify their own existence, it’s certainly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. When it comes to overhyping the next “threat” to the homeland – regardless of the facts – the ATF seldom disappoints.

The embattled agency’s latest piece of creative fiction is a warning about “privately made firearms” or PMFs, and it should serve as a warning to gun owners, homebuilders and everyone else who values their civil rights.

An ATF document titled “First Responder Awareness of Privately Made Firearms May Prevent Illicit Activities,” was published last week by the Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT).

Privately Made Firearms by jpr9954


“JCAT is a collaboration by the NCTC, DHS and FBI to improve information sharing among federal, state, local, tribal, territorial governments and private sector partners, in the interest of enhancing public safety,” the document states. “This product is NOT in response to a specific threat against the United States. It provides general awareness of, considerations for, and additional resources related to terrorist tactics, techniques and procedures, whether domestic or overseas.”

To be clear, the ATF and JCAT consider homebuilt firearms “terrorist tactics, techniques and procedures,” even though Americans have been making guns legally in their homes since before there even was a United States of America.

The document was never supposed to be leaked to the media or the public, and is exempt from discovery through the federal Freedom of Information Act, but some freedom-loving soul published it online yesterday despite its ominous warning:

“WARNING: This document is UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. Do not release to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need to know without prior approval from NCTC, DHS, or the FBI. This document may contain US Person information deemed necessary for the intended recipient to understand, assess, or act on the information provided. Additionally, this document may contain information exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).”

“Criminals and violent extremists continue to seek ways to acquire firearms through the production of privately made firearms (PMFs),” ATF’s document warns. “PMF awareness and identification can aid PMF recovery, prevention of illicit activities including terrorism, and overall first responder and public safety.”

Evidently, even the ATF was worried that their door-kickers might go too far, again – they can’t really afford another Waco or Ruby Ridge – so they included a subtle warning before things get out of hand.

“NOTE: Many of the activities described herein may involve Constitutionally protected activities and may be insignificant on their own. Action should not be taken solely based on the exercise of Constitutionally protected rights.”

Yep, those pesky Constitutional rights do tend to get in the way, don’t they?

Much of the advice the ATF passes on to First Responders would be laughable, were it not for the fact that Americans have a right to make firearms in their own homes. Apparently, that doesn’t matter.

If you’re found with 3D printers, printing medium such as plastic, ceramic, or metal spools, or place what the agency considers to be too large an order online, you’re going to be suspected of terrorism or violent extremism even though your actions are perfectly legal.

I have written about the need to abolish the ATF before, because no one seems capable of reining in the rogue agency or forcing them to accept the fact American actually do have constitutional rights.

This is more important now than ever before, because Biden’s nominee to head the ATF, David Chipman, is a paid anti-gun activist who would definitely take the agency in the opposite direction. If Chipman is confirmed by the Senate, this leaked ATF report is just a warning of more serious civil rights violations yet to come.


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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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    • more specifically the atf’s owners and controllers consider americans to be their enemy. they always have.

    • “some freedom-loving soul published it online yesterday despite its ominous warning” yet you have to register with “scribdb” in order to download. TTAG repost in full without spying.

      I particularily like the direction to inspect all toy guns. and on pg 4 “ATF is a law enforcement agency”. NO I think they are very confused (or lying).

      • “’ATF is a law enforcement agency’. NO I think they are very confused”

        only if you think they’re enforcing american laws ….

      • Did you miss the magician’s magic pass? When ATF got moved from Treasury to Homeland Security, they suddenly became a law enforcement agency. Gotcha!

    • It is official…If you assemble your own firearm you are the newest n-word for the Jim Crow Gun Control democRat Party and their jack booted thugs. And you will be bullied and terrorized accordingly.

      I suspect Real criminals couldn’t be happier about having a bunch of time consuming DIY tinkering people being the center of attention.

  1. “Americans Who Build Their Own Guns Are Terrorists, Criminals and Violent Extremists”

    while real terrorists, criminals and violent extremists aren’t.

    at this point it’s all political and about gaining control of the nation.

    • This is post-Constitutional America. Everything is backwards. They used “1983” as a training doc.

      If you are a free man or woman, it is time to start acting like it. Unapologetically.

  2. PINAC, USPA, EOTI, etc…
    Stacks of government documents and reports indicate government hates you.
    Believing government documents makes you a conspiracy theorist.
    Being a conspiracy theorists means government is justified in hating you.
    Thus, it has always been.

  3. So, there’s no specific threat, and no laws are being broken, but we need to be afraid. Be very afraid.

    • The Glow in the Darks have been pushing the idea of our fellow citizens are terrorist waiting to happen since the War on Terror™ began.

      • Wasn’t a lot of the PATRIOT act written somewhere in the 90’s then sat on for the next crisis?

  4. What they are setting up is a network of snitches to get first responders to question everything. How else do you remove the enemy.
    Abolish the ATF is right..

  5. To be fair, I don’t read that as calling ALL homebuilders terrorists, criminals and violent extremists but rather stating that terrorists, criminals and violent extremists are using Constitutionally protected rights to gain access to weapons they are prohibited from possessing… This is nothing new, politicians and fringe groups have been pounding us with our own Constitutional guarantees for decades… I am not concerned that the “AFT” or any local law enforcement is going to come knocking on my door over a couple or three or four(?) homebuilt firearms and if they do the homebuilt stuff will be the least of their concerns… Monkey face will not be confirmed as head as head of the BATFE and Braindead is going to have to come up with someone a bit more moderate…

      • Yeah, don’t read what the document actually says. Go with the paranoid fear-mongering of the OP.

        • So all serpent’s are blind then? Or just lack reading comprehension? Maxx is anything but paranoid.

        • ChoseDeath – My comment was responsive to neiowa’s, not MADDMAXX’s. It is a bit hard on TTAG’s “new” format to tell which comment is responsive to which, esp. on a mobile device.

    • Great points. I agree this was a misrepresentation of what the document was saying.

      But….ATF still sucks.

      • Not pertinent to my situation, if I was committing as many FELONIES as that guy I would be concerned… I don’t live in Kommiefornia (I used to, lived in Huntington Beach in the 70s, got out before everything caved) I live about as far away as you can get and still be in the Continental United States and FL says they don’t care how many guns I build as long as they are for personal use… No Uzis, Full auto Glocks or boxes of machine gun parts (and if I did, I would be the only one who knew about them)…

        • Only if you believe that the courts which allowed lying about FISA warrants honestly issued that one.

          And those “felonies” are known as “infringements” by honest people.

        • If honest “people” don’t like those “felonies” they should get off their ass and DO something to change them… Sitting at a keyboard and whining like a little bitch does absolutely nothing… Laws are words on pieces of paper written by people attempting to assert THEIR ideology on the masses to gain control, laws CAN be changed but until they are, they are still LAWS and if you violate those laws you put yourself in jeopardy… As far as Courts and Warrants I doubt seriously that I or you for that matter will EVER become relevant enough for our names to brought before a FISA Judge…

    • Maddie is right, and they make a note that PMF’s are not necessarily illegal:

      “NOTE: Many of the activities described herein may involve Constitutionally protected activities and may be insignificant on their own. Action should not be taken solely based on the exercise of Constitutionally protected rights.”

      “may be insignificant on their own”

      So law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about.

      Unless your social media is full of racial animosity or insurrection plans…

      • And who gets to define those terms?

        We’ve seen both of them defined as “Not agreeing with Democrats” for 20+ years.

      • How many social media accounts are full of racial animosity for White people? I’m assuming you’re alright with that type.

  6. Unclassified// For Official Use Only.
    Yeah right.
    shhhhh, we dont want any civilian hearing about this, it’s a secret that stays within these walls.

  7. Internal We The People Document: ATF and FBI Who Violate 2ndA Rights Are Terrorists, Criminals and Violent Extremists

  8. “A PMF – also referred to as additive manufacturing”

    Overwhelming ignorance from people who are supposed to be our nation’s firearms SMEs.

  9. Kinda Right leaning, Conservative, live in a very Red State and local area, retired Military, drives a 4WD, Loved what President Trump did in office except some areas, thinks Jan 6th was a selfie party and not an insurrection, firmly believes Pelosi and Schumer are mentally stunted, that the election was rigged through some specific Counties to flip States, Convinced Creepy Joe has dementia, also convinced anyone that voted for him is Farm Animal Stupid, Has finished/completed several firearms, owns several EBRs……you get the point

    I’m a Super Extremist Terrorist!! …according to the fools in Washington. Many of ya’ll are too!

    • Manse,

      With you on all but the ‘selfie party’. It was an immense celebration of this country’s foundations. Commaraderi,
      Prayers, peaceful people, and some levels of panic since DC’s mayor, Muriel BowWowWowser, forbade the deployment of porta-potties and ordered stores and restaurants closed. It weren’t selfies some folk were takin.

    • “Kinda Right leaning, Conservative“

      And intentionally chooses as a handle the moniker of a murderous traitor who killed to perpetuate the evils of slavery.

      “Manson Sherrill (Manse) Jolly (died 1869) was the fifth son of Joseph Moorhead Jolly and Anna Cole Sherrill. He had six brothers and four sisters, one of whom died in infancy. Jolly was known for his brutal revenge against the Union soldiers stationed in Anderson, South Carolina after the close of the Civil War.“

      “By their fruits ye shall know them… “

      • ‘Proud liberal democrat.’ Supports the party that put American citizens in concentration camps based entirely on race. The party that supports the Sanger plan of genocide. The party that is actively censoring and shutting down dissent in America. The party that has to surround the peoples White House with military force to keep the people out.

        • “The party that is actively censoring and shutting down dissent in America.“

          Oh? Do you have a specific example when the Democratic Party has censored dissent in America?

          “The party that has to surround the peoples White House with military force to keep the people out.“

          Are there United States Army or National Guard troops surrounding the White House currently?

        • I have a few. How about when democrats in several states and in D.C. pressured the federal government then sued it (under ITAR), with regards Defense Distributed having cad files for 3d printed guns.

          Then there is youtube which has registered Democrats at the helm. Is there any debate that it censors heavily (ditto for basically all social media platforms)?

          If want to limit the convo to just the DNC then you are a douche playing word games . . . AND YET EVEN THEN DNC IS GUILTY! In 2016 the DNC rigged the primary for Hillary Clinton because she purchased the party. Then the party, Hillary herself, and the media suppressed that information that was put up on the net. It was never denied by any of those entities (Hillary even called it “weaponized” information). The head of the DNC resigned because of it.

          Tell me again how the DNC is not the anti-freedom party?

        • Miner said: “Oh? Do you have a specific example when the Democratic Party has censored dissent in America?”

          Here you go:
          “Judicial Watch announced today that it received 540 pages and a supplemental four pages of documents from the office of the Secretary of State of California revealing how state officials pressured social media companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube)) to censor posts about the 2020 election.”

          Miner, are you seriously oblivious to the rampant censorship that’s been taking place since election season? It’s like you were so sure that Biden wasn’t going to immediately open the borders and flood this country with illegal immigrants that you bet me $20 that he wouldn’t do it. I accept Paypal.

      • “…Jolly was known for his brutal revenge against the Union soldiers stationed in Anderson, South Carolina..”

        His last ride was down Fant Street in Anderson and killed some on the way and you failed to mention why he was killing the Union Army OCCUPATION soldiers after the war was over.
        For those interested ..and since you like to stalk…

        • Thanks for the info!
          But the text does seem to have a bit of a slant to it…

          “The Body of “Manse” Jolly, as wild and romantic, daring figure as ever lived“

          Romantic? If you consider killing to enslave humans as romantic…

          And if the confederate states did not want to be occupied, they should not of fired on fort Sumter and started the Civil War by reneging on their oath to support and defend the Constitution.

          And just because you call it an ‘occupation’ it does not authorize murder after the war is concluded.

          Stalking? Nay, you are the one posting the traitor’s name publicly.

  10. “…they can’t really afford another Waco or Ruby Ridge…”

    Why not? What did those events, or a slough of kicking in doors at wrong addresses and killing people and their dogs ever really cost ATF in the past? They’re still here and as dangerous to Americans and the Constitution as they’ve ever been…

    • …because since then, Americans who support the Constitution and our God-given liberties now have umpteen more guns of the kind rivaling the ATF arsenal than ever before.

      Bundy Ranch comes to mind. That may have turned into another horrible Waco, except the natives finally outnumbered the protagonists and held them at bay.

      It’s rather widely accepted that most local level LEOs believe in their communities and personal freedoms, albeit in varying degrees across the nation and from metro to rural areas. Not so sure if the same can be said for Federal Agents.

  11. Your not a true Patriot if your name isn’t on a list somewhere in the alphabet agencies.

    Rusty Shackleford

    • I stopped worrying about that in the 80s when discharged. They have all my info. FUCK THEM!

  12. ATF needs to be broken up and the Alcohol and Tobacco portions given to FDA. Their explosives people need to go to FBI and we need to deleate 95% of the firearms law since it serves no purpose, what little is left (import/export licenses and FFL licenses) could be done by the people at FBI who use to do the NICS stuff.

    At the very least ATF needs to have their law enforcement functions revoked, no more door kickers, no more badges, no more shooting dogs.

    • More or less how I see it.

      Have heard good things on the explosives experts, they should be non-LEO’s under the FBI. No guns or badges, just scientists and technicians working crime scenes and evidence.

      If there is a public health need in tobacco and booze then yes, that is the function of the FDA. Once again, no LEO jobs. Official inspectors and all that no need for guns, badges or arrest authority.

      • “If there is a public health need in tobacco and booze then yes, that is the function of the FDA. Once again, no LEO jobs.”

        No law-enforcement component to alcohol enforcement?

        “Once two strangers climbed ol’ Rocky Top
        Lookin’ for a moonshine still
        Strangers ain’t come down from Rocky Top
        Reckon they never will… “

  13. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and Really Big Fires is the embodiment of that old saying “If all you have is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail.”

  14. If you read the whole document, then you would know the author of this post is just as guilty of one sided spin as the MSM.

    This document not only specifically calls out domestic terrorism, it cites many examples. Furthermore, they provide a list of indicators that “may” constitute criminal activity.

    For example:

    – Discussion on ways to avoid detection at security checkpoints while carrying a firearm as well as making low to nonmetallic content firearms.
    – Queries by known violent extremists seeking people with experience with computer-assisted design, or 3D printing.
    – Inquires on ways to sell or purchase a finished, wholly plastic 3D firearm.
    – The presence of 3D printers or materials during calls to service, warrant executions, or other such encounters related to suspected firearms.
    – Reports from federal firearms licensees identifying people suspected of manufacturing PMFs or converting them from semiautomatic to fully automatic based on customer purchases, conversations, and questions.

  15. Well, there is this gem:

    Nonserialized machine bodies (frames or receivers) typically have not been finished to the point of being classified as a “firearm” under the Gun Control Act or National Firearms Act. These machined bodies are often referred to by the firearms industry as “80%” frames or receivers.

    So, even the ATF states that 80% frames are not firearms under the GCA and NFA 🙂

  16. The BAFTE is a tax collection agency. It should be completely eliminated. Not just broken up and rolled into different government divisions. And the one and only savior in this issue is Congressional Representative Marjorie Taylor Green. She is the only person in a positon of power to officially submit a law to do away with the AFT.

    And many in the gun community don’t support her. Is she the wrong skin color? Is she the wrong sexual orientation??? These same people have complained about “a lack of unity” in the gun community in the recent past.

    These “so called” gun owners have “taken their masks off”, just like they “took their mask off” in 2020. They have never supported Liberty. They just lied and said they did.

    • There’s a difference between supporting liberty and supporting a politician who adopts extreme positions, indulges in promoting bizarre conspiracy claims, and generally makes a very public ass of herself. The anti-gun media would love to have Rep. Green be the public face of the gun rights effort, branding all of us as conspiracy-mongering paranoiacs.

      So, please spare us your simple-minded loyalty test that if someone doesn’t support her, they don’t truly support gun rights (while ironically whining about a lack of unity).

    • Civil Service and government employee unions would argue against elimination of the agency. Aside from this, the ATF/BATFE is involved with the collection of alcohol and tobacco taxes, which they seem to do without problems, they were simple tax collectors to begin with. They also are involved with arson investigation, which is not bothersome, except for firebugs that they might catch. their essential problem is firearms law enforcement, which they seemingly screw up, in the process giving offense to the citizenry who otherwise would hardly take notice of the agency. The questionable quality of appointed directors is unhelpful too.

  17. This is not an ATF documentation. Falsr equivocation of PMF manufacturers are criminals and criminals manufacture PMFs…

  18. Lol ATF, I been a domestic terrorist since before I knew how to build my own guns. If you push for more freedoms, you are an enemy to government.

    Fucking dog murderers.

  19. Tell the ATF/BATFE to take their unsolicited opinions and “secret papers” and stick them where the sun doesn’t shine.

  20. Emblazoned on their jackets is ATF followed by POLICE. Since when did tax collectors become POLICE?

  21. That’s pretty much what the British Empire thought about those upstart American patriots who were building their guns to fight for their independence from British rule. Maybe it’s time we had another Revolution?

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