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By Lee Williams

The homeowner was alerted there were trespassers on his property by motion detectors outside his front door. A live video feed from his doorbell camera showed three armed men wearing tactical vests, t-shirts and jeans. Two appeared to be ATF agents. The third was a Delaware State Police trooper. None wore body cameras.

The homeowner, who did not want his name used in this story, is a small businessman – a law abiding citizen who even ATF acknowledged had done nothing wrong. He went to his front door hesitantly. He left his doorbell camera running to record the encounter.

The homeowner confronted the three men before they reached the door. “Can I help you?” he asked, stepping onto the porch.

The older ATF agent told him they were assigned to a task force investigating straw purchases. A straw purchase – a federal felony – occurs when someone buys a firearm on behalf of another person, who is unable to legally purchase a firearm themselves.

The agent said they were verifying that people who bought multiple firearms still had the guns in their possession. The homeowner had bought seven firearms since January 2022.

He asked the men for identification, which the agents and trooper produced. They admitted they did not have a search warrant. The doorbell camera recorded what happened next.

Agent 1 “All I’m doing is verifying that you have it, you got two different purchases. If you have them, I’m out of here. That’s how quick it is. Yeah. Do you have them with you by any chance?”

Homeowner “They’re in my safe.”

Agent 1 “If you can unload them and bring them out. We can go out to your foyer here, check them out, write the serial numbers and we’re out of here.”

Homeowner “That’s it?”

Agent 1 “Yep.”

Agent 2 “That’s it. It will take five seconds.”

Trooper “The reason we’re out here is obviously gun violence is at an uptick. We want to make sure – we’ve been having a lot of issues with straw purchases. One of the things, indicators we get is someone making a large gun purchase, and then a lot of times we’ve been there and, ‘Oh, those guns got taken.’”

Agent 1 “The idea is that when you purchase more than two guns at a time it generates a multiple sales report and it comes to us and we have to check them out. That’s all that is. You did nothing wrong – absolutely zero. I noticed you were stopped in Philly though with one of your guns?”

Trooper “We’ll wait if you feel more comfortable.”

Homeowner “I’m okay. I just – I didn’t expect…”

Agent 1 “Oh no. It just came up. We came here, look, I’m telling you. There’s an email from the federal side saying can you make sure this guy’s got his guns. If you recently purchased a whole bunch of guns, if we can look at them and just scratch them off…”

Homeowner “I have them all.”

Agent 2 “We can look at them and write which ones you just bought, so we can save a trip from coming back. We’ll confirm that you have them.”

The homeowner agreed to get the firearms, closed the front door while the agents remained on the front porch, unaware they were being recorded.

Trooper “He doesn’t believe we’re cops.”

Agent 1 “I don’t blame him.”

The homeowner retrieved one rifle. The agent checked the serial number off of his list. The homeowner asked if he still needed to retrieve the rest of the firearms. The agents said it wasn’t necessary to see any more. They apologized for the inconvenience, wished the homeowner a good night and left.

‘Invading my privacy’

Looking back, the homeowner believes he was coerced into giving his consent for what was legally a search of his property, even though no enforcement action was taken against him.

Since the ATF agents did not have a search warrant – they lacked probable cause to obtain one – they had to rely upon obtaining consent from the homeowner.

When the courts consider consent, they look at its voluntariness – whether consent was freely given or coerced. They also consider whether the defendant knew he had a right to refuse. Other factors like the time of day and the officers’ demeanor and uniforms can also be considered by the court.

In this case they pushed hard. They were clearly in a hurry, and the threat they might have to return was menacing.

“I was embarrassed,” the homeowner said. “My neighbors saw the whole thing – guys in these police vests standing in my yard. I was really uncomfortable. I felt really confused, like I was in some way being accused of something even though I didn’t commit a crime. It was quite embarrassing. I knew they couldn’t come in, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to get put on some watch list. We just got new gun laws here. I didn’t want them coming back again. I felt like they were invading my privacy.”

No comment

The Resident Agent in Charge of ATF’s Wilmington, Delaware field office did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

Similarly, public information officers at both ATF’s Baltimore Field Division and Washington D.C. headquarters did not return calls or emails seeking comment. This lack of accountability is certainly nothing new for the ATF.

Delaware State Police was also unwilling to discuss this investigation.

Neither Delaware State Police PIO supervisor Sgt. India Sturgis nor Superintendent Col. Melissa Zebley were willing to be interviewed for this story.

Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Melissa Zebley
Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Melissa Zebley (courtesy delaware.gov)

“It sounds like your questions would be more appropriately suited for ATF. Please contact them with questions that you have about straw purchases of firearms,” Sgt. Sturgis said in an email.

The only insight into ATF’s surprise home inspections was in a Washington Post story published July 22, 2021, in which Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Biden-Harris administration was targeting straw purchasers.

“Going forward, officials said, U.S. attorney’s offices and ATF agents will seek to prosecute more straw purchases — focusing not only on major cities, but also the neighboring towns and states that supply many of the guns used in crimes, including along the Interstate 95 corridor and in Indiana, Nevada and Arizona,” the story states.

Delaware is part of the I-95 corridor. The interstate bisects the state’s most populous county.

Takeaways

Delaware State Police have a proven lack of respect for the Second Amendment. They were once caught maintaining a secret list of gun owners, even though state law required them to destroy firearm records after 60 days. They used the list to illegally thwart at least one firearm purchase. Pairing one of their troopers with the ATF was bound to produce a host of constitutional violations. It was only a matter of time.

These types of warrantless investigations are known as “knock and talks.” They’re usually a tool reserved for narcotics detectives and they’ve always been constitutionally suspect. Police rely upon verbal skills and their powers of persuasion to convince a homeowner to waive their Fourth Amendment rights and let them in. Unlike this case, there’s usually no record of what the cops told the homeowner in order to gain access to the home.

To be clear, if the ATF agents had probable cause to believe this homeowner was actually a straw purchaser, they could have petitioned the court for a search warrant. They didn’t have a shred of probable cause in this case. In fact, all they had was an internal email stating, “Make sure this guy’s has his guns.”

This homeowner lives in an upscale, affluent neighborhood – a factor that certainly played a role in the agents’ plans. They were counting on the homeowner to let them in quickly rather than risk a neighbor seeing three LEOs in tactical vests milling around in his front yard.

The fact that neither the ATF nor the Delaware State Police were willing to answer questions, much less defend the actions of their officers, speaks volumes. Both agencies mistakenly believe that if they ignore difficult questions, they’ll go away.

Best practices

The best person to stop a straw purchase is a well-trained gun dealer. John Clark of FFL Consultants has trained hundreds of gun dealers.

Clark and business partner John Bocker crisscross the country to help dealers fight back against Biden’s war on guns. Their mantra is: “Get it right the first time.”

ATF agent
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

“Straw purchases are something we teach all of our FFLs to monitor for,” Clark said. “If someone wants to buy seven Hi-Point handguns, they should ask why someone wants seven of the cheapest handguns they sell.”

“The Golden Rule is this – buy a gun and keep it for at least a year. That will keep you out of the sights of the ATF and law enforcement,” he said. “If you’re buying and selling on the side, you should get licensed.”

Clark was asked about this case – two federal agents and a state trooper wearing tactical vests.

“They could have been a little bit more inconspicuous,” he said. “But that’s the feds.”

 

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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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172 COMMENTS

    • ATF= Adolph’s Totalitarian Facists

      Nazism is alive and well in the US Government.

    • I’ve purchased “multiple” guns at the same time. The FFL even told me it would trigger a notice to the ATF, but I didn’t care, and nobody ever came by my house. I don’t think they are required to do any of the things they said – looks like a total fishing expedition. Further, after they visited, it appears they reached the conclusion that this particular homeowner doesn’t fit the profile, and it was time to go and stop wasting fishing time.

  1. Maybe they should start doin this in the “hood”! They’d need a lot more body armor and back up. More “baby steps”!

      • No people in the “Hood” shot at cops. Most refuse a search without a warrant. Compliant white people don’t. That makes the ATF happy. And that’s why they never go into the Hood.

        It’s not a put down. It just an observation.

      • IMO, it more like the ATF wants to only target people that they can ruin the good lives of, and who they know can pay the fine the ATF believes it can impose due to “improvised guilt” by corrupt ATF Agents. Their only job in the beginning was to ensure import/export taxes were paid on US international firearms sales. Now…..”just look at ’em, rogue Agents everywhere.”
        FATF

    • I was told once by a cop that he avoided all criminals and tried to focus on people lije me – powerless and harmless and unconnected.

    • The mistake he made – was he answered the door! LOL. I’d have forced them to get a search warrant and make forced entry – which isn’t going to happen! 😆

  2. “Do you have any reason to believe that I’m engaging in straw purchasing?”

    “No.”

    “Then, come back with a warrant or not at all.”

    • Apparently someone forgot to tell the frontporch cops people are buying much more than one gun and a box of ammo after Jim Crow Gun Control democrRats stole an election and f-up the entire country.

      Furthermore…No matter the reason when you paint a picture of someone they are not that is called Defimation. And at that point my name becomes Sue Happy.

  3. Okay class, let’s go over what we learned today. Repeat after me:

    “Never register your gunns if at all possible. Your personal property is none of the Government’s business.”

    • “Never register your gunns if at all possible. Your personal property is none of the Government’s business.”

      In all fairness, the owner didn’t ‘register’ them, the Feds did… 🙁

      • HATE to tell y’all but RIng has turned over video to .gov without permission. Your smart phone & TV is bad enough but all these gadgets like Ring & Siri et all spy on you. This dude didn’t let these boyz in the house either…

      • I have several gunns I’ve been encouraged by the State of California to voluntarily register. Nope. Not gonna.

        As far as a 4473, I’ve only had to fill out one in the past 25 years, and in CA all information on the gunn you purchase is recorded into the AFS database. I assume it’s the same for Delaware?

        Whatever gunns you have that aren’t registered…keep them that way.

    • Repeat after me “Do you have a warrant? If not then get off my property.”

        • Bad advice. Lying to a federal agent is itself a crime. Best course is not to get cute and don’t volunteer information or answer questions. You say one thing: “Do you have a warrant? No, then get off my property.”

  4. For a split second I thought maybe they were following up on crack-head Biden but then I remembered we live in a third world shithole run by cleptocratic despots.

    Never open the door for cops or anyone claiming to be cops. They’ll kick down the door if they have a warrant. Otherwise they can all go pound sand. Lies and coercion are the basic tools of their trade.

    • Yep! I instructed everyone in our home to never open the door for a LEO, or the like. I love our Ring Doorbell and Amazon Show devices.

      “Do you have a probable cause to question me, or can you please hold the warrant up to the camera! Then please go away and stop bothering law abiding citizens. Would you like to discuss this further with my lawyer? Have a nice day.” Hangup.

      • That’s funny. I’m a law abiding citizen and the cops have shown up to my home 0 times. I guess im not as law abiding as you that the cops get called to your house so often you have a script.

    • Hunter’s latest endeavor is to assist with negotiations on sending Russian gas through Kazakhstan to China. I wonder how much commission he will get?

      Certainly more than his “artworks”.

      • “…I wonder how much commission he will get?…”

        Whatever it is, you know 10% of it goes to “The Big Guy”.

      • Funny, I haven’t heard any more about his artistic endeavors. VERY limited editions, I assume?

        FTR, I thought a couple looked kinda cool, but it was totally an accident, I’m sure. Like the late William Burroughs’ shotgun paintings, where he lined up cans of spray paint in front of canvases (wood, I think) and let ‘er rip. He certainly had no pretensions about being a “painter”, but hey, if you want to buy one, WHY NOT?

  5. As far as I know, Delaware prohibits gun registries and the ATF is also prohibited to do so, so how did they get the list? (Rhetorical question…)
    Do you have a warrant? No? Then leave my property.

    • Looks like they didn’t get a list. Looks like they made a visit to make a list. They said they wanted to record his serial numbers.

      Me: “No thanks! Bye guys.” Door shuts.

    • This is a Bad Thing and shouldn’t be going on, but remember what that cop said: “The idea is that when you purchase more than two guns at a time it generates a multiple sales report and it comes to us and we have to check them out.”

      My conclusion is that while they may have had an illegal “registration” list, they were working from a stack of multi-firearm sales reports, which should be but are not forbidden to them.

  6. Good grief. This is how you handle these guys.

    “Do you have a warrant??”

    “No.”

    “Go get a warrant. Have a nice day.”

    • Also remind them they are trespassing. Gives you legal standing, they were notified and continued to harass without due cause and a warrant. Not faulting he agents completely here, they most likely were ordered to this location. But it was their right and duty to refuse to violate civil rights and the Constitution.

      • Absolutely correct and they should be treated as officers violating their oath of office.

      • Well, people EVERYWHERE get EXACTLY what they vote for.

        Phil Murphy (NJ Gov) stated that the Constitution is “above his pay grade”, then NJ voters re-elected him.

        The sh!t always flows downhill.

      • Only time a Law Officer showed up at my house was when my nephew showed up at my house it was to pick up his grandfathef’s Colt 380 government pistol my dad had given me years ago.
        I knew he probably worked the night shift for Austin Police and gave to his wife

      • No body violated anyone’s rights. They asked the homeowner was free to answer or tell them to pound sand.

    • I would say, “…well then, I encourage you to go get one, if you can. Good evening, gentlemen.”

      It IS possible to be nasty, but in a nice way.

  7. This was a test. They are sticking their toes in the water. If there isn’t sufficient backlash, they will jump in with both feet.

  8. “I noticed that you were stopped in Philly with one of your guns?”

    What would the point of that comment have been?

    • And I noticed that you are standing on my property without permission.

      Have a nice day.

    • That comment made me go, “hmmm?” also.

      So what? The guy legally had a self protection firearm with him. Anyone watch the news lately? Who’d want to travel to Philly without one?

    • disco neck tied my doorbell decades ago. got tired of pranking the jehova latter day krsna fuller brush man.
      girl scouts, however, may have thin mints.

      • A few years back, they sold Girl Scout cookies outside the local supermarket I use.

        The woman minding the girls got a look on her face when I asked how many boxes of cookies I had to buy to get a Girl Scout.

        (“Girl Scouts, no sense of humor.” ‘The Highlander’ 🙂 )

        • A few years ago, the top seller of girl scout cookies was a mom and daughter team that set up outside of a Colorado hooch dispensary in a suburb of Denver. Literally sold TRUCKLOADS !!! That’s one smart cookie … pusher.

      • Female Jehovah’s Witlesses came by one day, I.was shirtless when I answered the door. They asked if the “Lady of the House was home? I gave them my best sexist Leer and replied “No, come on in, let’s party girls.” They beat feet so fast I had trouble not laughing out loud.

  9. This video only proves the government has lists and information it is not suppose to have and it claims doesn’t exist. Time to disband all but two of the government agency police forces, we need two and only two. The FBI and Border Patrol. All other Law Enforcement functions can be rolled up into these two departments. Homeland Security and Border Patrol are the same function, so they belong together. The rest, Secret Service, IRS enforcement, DEA, and any other civilian law enforcement departments belong under the FBI, we don’t need all the redundancy and competition between departments for tax dollars and headlines.

    • The FBI needs to be returned to that from which it came, the National Bureau of Criminal Identification, which provided an information exchange and clearinghouse for local law enforcement tracking criminals who crossed state lines. That’s all it needs to be. Revoke all investigative authority.

    • I think the issue came from buying 2+ handguns at the same time, a special report is created and sent to local law enforcement and the ATF. Still to come to someone’s house for someone who has never broken the law and has not broken the law is literally insane. We’re surrounded by rising crime on all sides and here’s cops knocking on someone’s door “Hey did you buy 2 guns last week? Let’s see them!”. Meanwhile the corner store is getting robbed, some woman 3 streets over is being assaulted and these cops are standing around like special officer doofy.

      • My local FFL tells me what quantity of purchase triggers the report to LEO. So I come back twice if I need to. He said he asked the Chief what is done with those reports. Chief responded, he throws them away.
        I suspect some jurisdictions don’t want to be bogged down with harassing good citizens. Other jurisdictions relish the idea of harassing Joe Citizen. In my local area, Law Enforcement doesn’t harass…yet.

        • Your LGS sounds a lot like mine. I’ve been dealing with sa.e LGS for 40+ years, and they greet me by name. Cultivating that relationship has many benefits.

      • Not to mention all the mules crossing the border with a couple hundred pounds of drugs.

    • Meh the FBI is a shining example of the Stasi on US soil. They were supposed to investigate crimes not create crime.

      • I’m just glad I don’t have the money to buy more than one new gun at a time… 🙂

    • FBI needs to be disbanded as it is totally corrupt in case you have not noticed. They are not neutral they are biased toward conservatives, have not prosecuted any democrats despite overwhelming evidence and tried to unseat a sitting President. They need to be abolished and replaced with something else.

  10. “Of course. Please wait in your cars while I contact my attorney for advice. He usually calls back before close of business”.

  11. Think about how much free time cops have when they can stop at someone’s house and violate all of their rights (privacy, compelled speech, RKBA) for something that isn’t even a crime. Let that sink in. DEFUND across the board. Obviously we have more cops than we need in our society. We need to not just fire them but bar them from any kind of law enforcement of any kind, prison guards, mall cops, security guard, crossing guard, etc. #LearnToCode and shut up. How many thousands of dollars did that cost the taxpayers to get an ATF agent, state cop overtime to investigate nothing at all.

    • there’s a few defunders here. less popo would for sure ramp up the almost unrestrained even further, creating a problem in need of a solution…
      “what do you think happened then?” -tove jansson

      • What good are police today? I’m asking a serious question. They’ve allowed themselves to be pawns for people who want political police not actual police. “Look the other way nothing going on here. Go across the street and take down that guy watering his flowers”. Get rid of them, get rid of their unions, get rid of qualified immunity and go back to citizen militias. It’s a lot better than the nonsense we have today.

        • Most cops are good cops. I come from a family of cops and none of them would behave as many do today. Those folks who go along with unlawful orders are in the minority which is bad in itself but let’s not indict all the good cops for the few rotten apples.

        • Agree, but a lot of people are skeered. Their idea of self-defense is to call 9-1-1.

        • at that point gov stormtroopers will be installed with the citizens militia only having to defeat them.
          rogue authority is frustrating.
          but look at most of the rest of the world.

    • I think your defunding is misdirected. We need to defund legislatures until there is something that needs legislating about. State or Federal, all they seem to want to do is pass clearly unconstitutional laws curtailing our natural rights.

      • I’m all in on defunding legislators and amending the constitution to remove qualified immunity from all politicians. I’d much rather sue anti-2A democrats into the poor farm individually rather than letting them spending my own money to defend their authoritarianism. They’ll think twice about going after people when they know the ‘people’ will be pulling the paintings off the walls of their mcmansions and tossing their sorry butts into the street.

  12. No warrant, no deal. I’m not stepping out and you are certainly not stepping in.

    Unless you have a probable cause and a warrant based on that showing that a firearm I purchased was recovered at a crime scene then you need to go about your business.

    And BTW, if that firearm linked to me was recovered elsewhere it is definitely NOT in my gun safe, is it?

    • If a firearm I purchased was used in a crime, you could save yourself some time and just call me, then I could tell you over the phone that I sold it. If my state required me to keep track of who I sold it to, then it was stolen. If my state required me to report such a theft, then I hadn’t noticed it until you called. These laws are not simply stupid, they are UNENFORCEABLE!

  13. Definitely a good example of how “little” abuses can add up. To combat illegal gun sales, just report when someone makes multiple purchases, reasonable right? Except now he is “suspicious” for buying multiple guns… What if he had sold or traded the guns? Now they would be asking a lot more questions, even though again, he would have done nothing wrong.

    You might buy multiple receivers for a couple builds, holiday sales usually have markdowns so if you have a couple models on your to buy list, waiting for a sale and grabbing a couple isn’t a bad idea. Things like surplus and even rarer imports come and disappear on irregular schedules so you likely have to get them when they come available. If you shop auction sites, forums, estate sales then that item you are looking for shows up when it does… All legit examples when you may buy multiple guns at once. But should the FFL be forced to flag you as suspicious if you are buying them, and police get notified about your buying habits?

    Bad news, and of course if you don’t comply then you are assumed to have something to hide. And they will shoot you dead if any sudden or “wrong” movements are made.

    • i only glanced furtively.
      “…momma licked her lips like a cat
      pecked the ground like a rooster
      pivoted like a duck…”

  14. As outrageously as this was and is the home owner probably did the correct thing. If he had told them I will not cooperate because you do not have a search warrant the cops know they can get a search warrant even if they want to look for a ham sandwich in your refrigerator and they would have been back and then would have done a horrendous amount of damage to the man’s house and probably gunned the home owner down in cold blood as they smashed their way into his house.

    If you think I am exaggerating check out an old copy of the American Rifleman Magazine from back in the 70’s. Kenneth Balloo had his door broken down and he was then assassinated by the cops while in his bathtub naked. If I remember correctly both the ATF and a local cop was there, it was actually the cop that shot Balloo. The ATF claimed that since Kenneth had black powder in his house and an inert grenade he could have reactivated the grenade (fat chance without even a fuse) but the Feds can make any lame excuse they want and get away with it. Kenny lived but was crippled for life and never got 1 penny in compensation from the gestapo. When he sued a Judge laughed in his face.

    The old saying “You cannot fight city hall” is as true today as it was in Nazi Germany, nothing has changed at all when dealing with the storm troopers. They do not uphold the law “they are the law” and they make up the law as they go along.

    • I disagree completely despite your example. They have no business entering your home or inspecting anything you own without a warrant. Allowing them any latitude is a gross mistake.
      It only enables them to keep up the practice. If they enter without one treat it as a Make My Day or Castle Domain issue and defend yourself to the death if necessary.

      • A single individual standing up to them will not stop them from doing it over and over again to other people. Only bad news media publicity and lawsuits will.

    • “…while in his bathtub naked.”
      how unusual. and you bathe in a trump print muumuu?

      • If memory serves, he had a black powder revolver he grabbed when he heard intruders .
        Hard to hear “We’re the POPO” in the shower, even if they actually yelled it .
        Think the grenade was one of those novelty deals with a “Take a number” tag on the pin .

    • And these are the folks you want to empower to violate our 2a rights. Every time you harp about ubc’s and used gun sales you are giving the power to these goons you claim to hate.

      Mental illness is very real with you.

  15. So moderator if I wanted to advertise that I am a new sex model that’s ok. Let’s try again. Why are you here? I didn’t call you, time for you to go. Or how much money do you have in the bank? Or have you ever had sex with a sheep? Does your wife orgasm when you have sex?

      • “Just get her wasted and you’re half way there…”

        R.I.P., Frank Zappa… 🙁

        Here, F. Zappa tells the story of 2 women who wanted to act out ‘Dinah Moe Humm’

        “The Story Behind Dinah Moe Humm – Frank Zappa”

  16. Know your rights… never give consent to a search. It doesn’t matter if it’s your vehicle or your home. Consenting to a search relieves the officer of certain constraints afforded by a warrant. With a warrant, and officer is restricted to searching places where item(s) specified in the warrant can physically fit based on size and configuration. Some officers attempt to get consent to search even though they possess a warrant because a warrant limits what they are searching for and consequently where they can search. If they possess a warrant, force them to present it. An officer may try to convince you to give consent to a search by saying something like “you’ve got nothing to worry about if you aren’t hiding anything”… if they’ve got probable cause, they can get a warrant. If you screw up and give consent to a search, know that you can verbally withdraw your consent at any point up until the moment officer(s) discovers anything illegal. When you withdraw consent, the search must stop immediately.

  17. Being put on a Federal list for multiple purchases should be taken through the court system. Bet SCOTUS would find it unconstitutional.

  18. My neighbor’s doormat, both retired attorneys, says Come Back When You Have a Warrant. With Brandon and his minions seems like good advice for everyone. 🇺🇸

  19. The second they start saying “straw purchaese” or asking to see your fire arms, standing there armed asking to come in without a warrant and you have done nothing wrong …. that’s when “shall not comply” starts becoming a legal defense.

  20. put on a Federal list for multiple firearms purchases …. did the government just admit creation of an illegal and unconstitutional firearms registry?

    • Sounds like it to me. When do you come OFF that list? If you clear the background check, you are supposed to be able to purchase as many guns as you have the money for, including 1000 HiPoints.

      • Larry – a thousand hi points – that sounds like quite a stash for bartering when the schumer hits the fan! Only problem might be storage space……………;-)

    • To my knowledge purchasesing 2 or more triggering another form started in 1986. I bought 2 handguns at lgs, when owner told me I should come back for #2 next day I agreed.

  21. Anyone who runs into a similar situation should never comply with that kind of behavior unless they produce a warrant. First you do not greet them outside the house, you stand behind a locked door if possible. Second, you immediately ask them for a warrant and not having one you tell them you have nothing further to say and would like them to vacate your property.
    Third if they continue you call your local police and indicate you have trespassers on your property who you have asked to leave and they will not and they are harassing you. Then you close the door and go into the house leaving them standing on the porch. If they try to enter you treat them according to your state laws for break and entry and if necessary you shoot them as they come into the house. You cannot be intimidated or allow them to get away with that because if you comply with their requests you have no legal recourse.

    • Frank – should be more like: come back with a warrant with specific items listed and why they are on your list AND bring your lunch since y’all are gonna be here quite a while. BTW, I will not help you and I will be watching you like a hawk and anything you disturb that is not on your warrant will be noted and/or recorded, especially if you damage anything. We can play the intimidation game too.

  22. The other reason this is ridiculous, EVERYONE KNOWS who’s doing the straw purchases. EVERYONE KNOWS who’s using illegally purchased firearms to wreak havoc. And it ain’t suburban white guys. Part of the reason these cops and Feds knocked on this door is because they needed to pad their statistics for racial purposes.

  23. This “effort” is a test dry run prelude to confiscation assesment.

    Also, if you hand them your fire arm they don’t have to give it back. That’s right. They can leave with it. Because the ATF can legally ‘examine’ any firearm that is in their physical posession, that examination is going to be someplace else they choose to take it.

    If they do not have a warrant, do not comply. Tell them “leave my property immediately “. And do not use “please”. If they hang around insisting upon still trying to talk to you, they are not leaving and are then trespsssing. Call the police and tell them you have armed people claiming to be law enforcement wanting to enter your home without a warrant and they refuse to leave and you fear for your safety.

    Preferably record all this.

    • Actually call 911 so there is a record of the call and a witness that took the call. Yeah, its not a guarantee but you are recording all this and streaming this to the internet, right? Don’t call police directly.

      After its over spread the video far and wide.

  24. Hey, TTAGers, this happened to me a few months ago. I live out in the sticks, with no neighbors in sight, so “social pressure” wasn’t an issue. But I was caught completely off guard. Their rationale for visiting was they were following up on discrepancies in my LGS’s book. (The store had just closed down for good.) They seemed embarrassed to be there and were aware how gun owners view them. I answered their questions, showed them the hunting rifle in question, and they left. Afterward, I kicked myself for not hewing to my 4A rights. (Technically, I did, in that I volunteered the information. But I felt like a chump.)

    And I didn’t crate my dog.

    Folks, have your spiel practiced and ready. Teach it to your family members and remind them that no threat is valid without a warrant or exigent circumstances. Be courteous but firm. Also, get a camera. I hate doorbell cams, but I may look for one that stores locally. (I’ll never get a Ring—Amazon has shown they care nothing for privacy.)

    And make sure your dog is nowhere in sight.

    • So they didn’t violate your right, didn’t shoot your dog and had a polite conversation with you what’s the problem?

  25. Not sure how I would have handled that. At least they stayed outside, and accepted that the homeowner didn’t want them inside. I may have brought my weapons outside, to let them see the serial numbers. Maybe. Whatever, it sure isn’t right. There should have been a phone call first, IMO. “Can we make an appointment to look at your recent gun purchases?” And, the correct answer to that would have been, “My attorney’s phone number is 555-1212, could you arrange this appointment through him?” No belligerence, no evasiveness, only a request that they contact your attorney.

  26. I don’t have to worry about this, living in California. Our Masters only allow us to buy one firearm every thirty days. First it was handguns, now it is everything. And since I started buying firearms within the last 20 years, every single last one of them, other than the black powder arms, is “registered” (the State doesn’t call it that, but a rose by any other name…) with the CalDOJ.

      • You cannot buy handguns in a neighboring state because federal law says so. Instead, any handgun must be shipped to a California FFL for transfer. It used to be you could buy a long gun in another state, but the seller must comply with the laws of the State of California, and most won’t bother because among those laws is a ten day waiting period–or shipping the rifle to your favorite hometown FFL to do the paper work and hold the gun for ten days.

        • I would think that would apply to eligibility (i.e. do they have the appropriate state gun purchase permit), but not necessarily the waiting period. Waiting period applies in California, sure, but we’re not in California in this scenario. There’s no guarantee that the firearm is ever going to be in California. The owner could store it out of state or something. And if it’s not in a California-legal configuration, then out of state might be a great place to store it.

        • If you are a CA resident, then it’s illegal for you to purchase a weapon out of state and bring it back. If you are a non-CA resident though, you can bring a weapon into the state.

  27. A straw purchase – a federal felony – occurs when someone buys a firearm on behalf of another person, who is unable to legally purchase a firearm themselves.

    WRONG !!!

    I will say it again, WRONG !!!

    A straw purchase is when someone asks you to purchase a firearm on their behalf and promises to pay you for it. It does not matter whether or not the requester can legally purchase firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer.

    There is a somewhat famous recent case where an uncle asked his nephew to purchase a firearm for him and promised to reimburse the nephew for the purchase. Both were legally able to purchase firearms and the nephew was even a law enforcement officer. ATF jacked them up anyway.

    • I believe the case you are referring to was in Ca and the LEO who was the nephew was asked to buy an off roster handgun for his uncle. The were jacked up by Ca DOJ, not the feds.

      Ca has a roster of handguns that citizens have to pick from(new handguns). They also have certain laws about different configurations of handguns and calibers that they do not allow. We do not like it, we are doing all we can to get these stupid laws overturned, but they are state laws with state enforcement, not federal enforcement.

      • Nope, east coast. Buyer, a LEO, got discounts on Glocks. Uncle asked buyer to get one for him and gave him the money to do so. Our hapless LEO bought the gun with uncle’s money, and took it to Pennsylvania and gave it to uncle. Both parties were fully able to pass a background check. HAD OUR LEO BOUGHT THE GUN WITH HIS OWN MONEY AND THEN SOLD IT TO UNCLE, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO VIOLATION OF LAW.
        This by the way is a US Supreme Court case, but I don’t remember the name. Hapless LEO was convicted of a felony and lost his gun rights for life. And his job. And for a short time, his freedom. A real shit show.

  28. Yeah, at the end of the day they’re just field agents doing what they were told to do using the tools at their disposal. The didn’t use force, coercion, or even much in the way of verbal judo. The solution to encounters like this is encouraging individuals to be aware of their rights. You can’t fault the agents for guy not knowing he could just shut his door and refuse to cooperate. Citizens have to be accountable for their own knowledge and/or ignorance of the law rather than waiting for the government to tell them what they are. You should be more upset at the guy for being a timid wiener who didn’t stand up for himself and simply ask them to leave his property.

    • You can’t fault the agents for guy not knowing he could just shut his door and refuse to cooperate.
      Actually, I can. It’s their job.

      Having said that, I can also fault the citizen for being more of a subject and not knowing their rights and standing up to the police.

  29. It is not a good image for your state police to be suborned so easily by the Federal government to work against the law abiding citizens of the state.

  30. I’m just going to say it. Those LEOs are absolute pussies. If they want to fight crime go to the high crime areas and check there. They’re all badass when they know nothing is going to happen, then all of sudden something does happen and they fuck it all up or don’t respond at all. This is disgusting.

  31. WHY was a State Trooper with the Stasi??? Window dressing? Fallguy? Does not seem to be that any Trooper with a brain would be running around with 2 ATF clowns. Unless on orders.

    Who generated “the list”? Looks like illegally collected/generated “data”. Why you NEVER purchase from a retailer using computer/online 4473 process.

    • Had a local dealer (think he just quit/sold the business) who never used ANY 4473 process, sold only to license holders, collected the 4473 and filed it in his books, did not report it to anyone. Gonna miss him.

    • I’m guessing the local guy is there in case something goes south. He can call for backup, or support the ATF guys with testimony. And, of course, you don’t let feds just go traipsing through your jurisdiction without some kind of tag-along.

  32. He should have said, “Guns, Oh, I thought you were looking for your wife, she left about half hour ago”.

  33. Picture says a lot.

    Nice upper middle class area… three white police officers…

    We’d better spread out in case the white man who lives here tries something stupid….

  34. and the threats:

    otherwise we are going to have come back out here

    or the

    you were stopped in philly

  35. yeah

    like walking up to the door with weapons and 3 armed government types is a good idea

  36. Anyone else besides me think those agents were dressed like poor white trash? What happened to the days when they showed up in suits, or at least slacks and a blazer? Very unprofessional looking, and the state trooper was no better, not even wearing his uniform. No wonder one says to the other, “he doesn’t think we are cops.”

    • A big part of why my answer below included “And when you come back with that warrant you’d better be professionally dressed, in uniform”.

  37. I wouldn’t have been as accommodating, to say the least. It’s like getting pulled over for nothing. I don’t know about everyone else nor do I care what others think, I effing HATE it. Getting pulled over for nothing burns my ass but admittedly it has been decades since that happened.

    Conversely, having a bunch of tin badge morons show up and tell me it will only take…..etc and we’ll be outta here, would have ticked me off. I would have said something like…..”get this cop, I don’t care if it only takes 15 seconds or 15 hours. Minimizing the intrusion with a short duration of time means nothing to me. I’m not showing you jack sh–. Now GTF off my property and I END THE CONVERSATION AND SLAM THE DOOR ON THEIR FACE! They hate that.

    • Indeed, I’d relish the opportunity to tell these fvckers to take a hike.
      It would brighten my day.

      • ASNd thenn there is the very real possibiloitynthat you would have and a Search Warrant within minutes What’s with a certain type of idiot American that regards co-operation withm the mp Police as som kind of weakness>? The bloody thing is that your type is usually the first to go to the Policem a’screaming and a’hollerin’ when you get into probs youself. In any Democracy Policing depends above all on two things ONE the consent ofn those Polic ed [the alternative is a Police State where you do NOT get bthe choice!] and co-operation.
        I read in these columns a lot aboutbde-funding the police. THat being so who wilol fill the Police Function/ in Anerica which has THE HIGHEST rate of Serious crime [ie that which results in DEATH] in the civilised world an nby a very considerable margin. IT also has the DEATH PENALTY, that considering Serious Crime is rising at an ever increasing rate especially GUN CRIME, is completely ineffective. AND, to cap it all, the highest rate of long termm incarceration as well -also apparfently ineffective.

        Consider this. In the UK, and I have no reason to think that the UK is not around the Eurpean average per capita. There are between EIGHT and NINE HUNDRED ILLEGAL DEATHS per annum for a population of around 70 million. That includes GUN CRIME, KNIFE CRIME, ACTS of TERRORISM, DOMESTIC INCIDENTS [including INFANTICIDE] and MANSLAUGHTER. ON a percapita basis that would mean in nthem uSA a totaol of illegal deqaths of around 4000 insted of whichnthere are as of last count 22,000 because of GUN CRIME alone.
        Make no mistake the UK still has an overall too high a crime rate but those crimes very seldom result in death.
        I am by the way in my mid 80’s and I have never been subjected to a serious physical assault in my life, or more correctly since I left the UK Forces where I served as Sgt Armourer and Smallarms instructor in the Royal Air Force and in the UK Army Infantry Reserves.
        I have had three or four ‘punch-up’s [who hasn’t?] where little was hurt other than somebodies ego and dignity and certainly no weaponry.

        • What’s with a certain type of idiot American that regards co-operation withm the mp Police as som kind of weakness>?
          What is it with some idiots who think that cooperation with authorities without recourse to their actual stipulated authority is some kind of requirement for good “citizenry”?

          I left the UK Forces…
          Ohhhhh, that explains much. See, you’re a subject, not a citizen by our definition. Also, we kicked your sort out over 200 years ago for exactly the sort of thing you’re advocating we do here. So, same answer we gave your sort back then!

          In any Democracy Policing depends…
          Perhaps you should study one of your own, and what he said when he “invented” civilian policing, Sir Robert Peel. I think his principles directly counter your ideas about policing.

        • al – you have been told numerous times that we do not care how y’all do it over there and it simply Does Not Apply to us. Just go away.

  38. Once during a medical emergency involving my wife, ems was at my house. The local pd, who would often show up, just to be nosey, did so.
    During the situation I noticed an officer had walked into the doorway but I was distracted by the wife’s problem. Until I saw him flipping through a stack of mail on the table by the door. I flipped out and told him to get the fuck out. He did and knew he was busted. I filed a complaint but it went nowhere.

    • What exactly has that got to do with anything? Especially anything to do with STRAW weaponry. Why are the ‘Country Cousin’ gun owners of America so bloody touchy when it comesw to Police co-operation? Never heard so much bollocks in my life!! Are they ALL inbred idiots?. Of couse not and most co-operate without comment as good citizens should.

      • Because the policeman was searching his papers without a warrant, that’s why!

        Why is Albert J Hall so demeaning of the Bill of Rights? What part of “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated” do you not understand?

        as good citizens should
        You’re not describing citizens. You’re describing subjects.

        And he should have filed a lawsuit, not just a complaint.

  39. What a bunch of slobs. Tuck in your shirts and act like a professional.

    No we don’t need to defund the local police. We need to defund the federal agencies AND blue areas. No, you aren’t going to change these extreme blue areas. But you can change the purple regions. Why is a state trooper with them? Does this sort of thing happen in every jurisdiction?

    Finally, how do we feel about stop and frisk these days? The victim here said he felt embarrassed. Was he frisked in front of his neighbors?

    • THe law sometimes requires the presense of a State Trooper or other Officer to oc versee the leagllity of any particular situtauion.

  40. Merrick Garland is a barely in the closet communist slug. With everything wrong McConnell has done in his career, keeping that Stasi worshipping piece of garbage off of scotus was magnificent.

  41. Personally I cannot see the problem here. Surely it’s in the interests of ALL legitimate gun owners to co-operate with the processes of law and order.
    Apparently there is a serious problem of these Straw Purchases’ even the opening comment recognises that or the authorities would not be wasting valuable time. The alternative to co-operation may well be a legally enforceable search warrant. As for being ’embarassed’ by the arrival, of the Officers that’s bullshit!
    Policing in a democracy depends on the primacy of two things. ONE consent and TWO co-operation.
    The Police do NOT make the law and neither are they judge and jury,. The LAW is made by the legislature that YOU the ELECTORATE selected for that purpose in your majority. -that’s how Democracies work

    • And they were not following any law. They were checking up on him without any apparent probable cause (or they would have had a warrant). This was the equivalent of a sobriety checkpoint. I know of nowhere in the law where you are required to prove the continued possession of any firearm you have purchased.

      Sorry, but that is NOT “how free republics work.” (We do NOT live in a democracy.)

      Having said that, yes, the electorate is the problem, not the politicians. If the electorate jealously and zealously guards their rights and freedoms, then the politicians won’t trample all over them.

  42. “Do you have a warrant?”
    “No.”
    “Then under what authority are you asking me these questions?”
    “Uhhhh….”
    “If you want to go get a warrant, that would be fine. But when you return, you will be dressed professionally, in uniform, and properly badged, or you’ll wait while I get someone who can verify your identities before I comply with any warrant. And even then there will be a complaint filed and I will be reaching out to my representatives.”
    “Oh, and officers, if the warrant has a false or flimsy basis, you can expect a lawsuit against each of you personally for violation of civil rights under color of law. And your bosses. Let them know that.”

    And, to the author, we all knew it was an affluent neighborhood by the fact the guy could afford 7 guns in a couple of months after 0bamaflation and Bidenflation in gun and ammo prices.

  43. At the very least you should publish a photo of each officer’s face along with their name, badge number, and any other information about them you can locate (including the names and addresses of their family members).

    It’s a two way street.

    At the very least you should be able to render each of those officers unable to participate in any undercover operations for the rest of their careers.

  44. THIS video /story must be made national news

    this website needs to get this to foxnews ASAP

  45. No warrant, no deal! Get the EFF of my property! Come and Take It Bring a cannon! FJB! Woodstock, Ga.

  46. I think the smart answer here is look I am not trying to be difficult with you, none of you have body cameras which concerns me greatly, so I would prefer if you came back with 2 things, a warrant and body cameras, this is to protect you as much as it is to protect me. I cant claim you did something and then you have no body cam to back up that it did not happen and of course the inverse.

  47. “If you can obtain a warrant, I will be more than happy to comply with my attorney present. You gentlemen have a good day.”

  48. Too bad these cops don’t spend as much time and effort going after real criminals, gangbangers and others who have illegal guns and use them to commit crimes. Maybe if they directed their efforts towards criminals instead of law-abiding citizens, they could actually reduce ‘gun violence’? They have an agenda and it isn’t about ‘gun violence’.

  49. Two gun purchase, if you did a straw buy is a felony, all fine and dandy, if it was a straw purchase, but when they have no reason to believe it is and try tactics like this to see, then they are wrong. And they must know it is wrong, or else the head of that division ( lady in the photo or others would call back and give a interview or statement..
    Yet a known felony was committed by Hunter Biden, buying a firearm or maybe two, and giving false information on his DROS and you have yet to see him being arrested and charged for his felony. And they want stronger gun control laws, yet some seem to be above the law and get away with crime, even a felony, as he is doing and all by the ATF and Federal government.

  50. I would have never opened my door and talked to them through the door. Told them to contact my attorney that I don’t consent to searches. Never let them intimidate you. Those @ss clowns should be ashamed for “just following orders.”

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