The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

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The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Braxton14 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:30 pm

After I left work yesterday (I'm an Animal Control Officer), I headed to the local gun shop/ FFL where I had my Browning 1919a4 sent. As I walked in I see two ladies standing over a 1919a4 and taking close up pictures of it laying on the counter while talking to an employee. Gullible me walks up and says "Nice, I just bought one too and am here to pick it up." Right then, they Identify themselves as ATF agents and ask for my name for confirmation . They then proceeded to ask if its Full or Semi auto and I told them that its a semi because I have not filed for a tax stamp, etc. Long story short, they were suspicious about it (asked for the info of the person I bought it from and information on John McGuire..because he's a reputable SOT that did the build). What made it worse, is that the manager there initially claimed that he wasn't expecting to receive it even though I called there multiple times and had an employee fax their FFL info to the seller (that was cleared up when I got there). The seller even had thorough contact with them (20+ exchanged emails) and I was told that everything was arranged for pick up (he talked to the agents on the phone as well when I was there). Now supposedly, the agents were already at the range/shop and happened to be there when my gun was delivered. After asking for my license and asking me several questions, they said the my gun will have to stay at the shop for about 2 weeks until one of their specialist can come by and verify that its a semi automatic.

I'm just 24 but I'm far from new to the process of picking up a firearm from an FFL; and I've never been in a situation like this. I mean, being an officer with 2 degrees in Criminal Justice, I never would have guessed that I'd be federally investigated for doing something legal. And even though I did nothing wrong, having 2 agents thoroughly question me was a little nerve wrecking.

What i don't understand is, why is my 1919a4 being singled out? Using their logic, all of the other guns transferred there, could potentially be full auto because of their looks!


My questions are:

1) Have you ever been in this type of situation?

2) What would you have done?

3) What would you do from here? (I already got the shop owner to email me a confirmation that it was transferred there)


Here it is:
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Last edited by Braxton14 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Razor » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:39 pm

I'd say you handled your self well. It's kind of bullshit whats going on and I'll just leave my comments at that for sake of forum rules. How ever I would go along with the wait and not rock the boat so to speak. The only reason I could see them maybe being worried is due all the shenanigans going on with guns as of late and that fact that it does have a very famous reputation as a machine gun.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Skull_Hide » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:48 pm

Just hope this thread can be political free. So far there seems to be nothing violating forum rules. As long as you do indeed get it in two weeks it doesn't seem too bad. Just making sure nothing is falling through the cracks?
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Trebor » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:13 pm

Get a laywer immediately and have them contact the ATF on your behalf. The ATF is not something to mess around with, even if you are innocent, and especially if you are innocent.

Don't just trust that everything will just blow over because you bought a semi-auto. No telling what the tech guys will say and don't forget about the ATF definition of "readily convertable."

Seriously, lawyer up, now. Any expense is well worth the hassle you may avoid.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by HKTackDriver » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:20 pm

Find a new FFL. Last thing we need as gun owners is our own sales network flipping us in for legal purchases.

I also would not have talked to the ATF agents. You still live in the "we're all blue" mind set. They aren't like you, they don't want to like you and they aren't there to talk shop. They're there to make arrests.

I don't subscribe to the "get a lawyer immediately" stuff, since I would not continue discussions with the ATF at all. Get me? NOT AT ALL. Do not talk to them again, at all, under any circumstance. Not if they show up on your door step, at work or if you are arrested. I'd also get a letter from the manufacturer stating that it was produced with a semi auto receiver, test fired semi auto and it is certified semi auto. If you ever have another problem, make sure that letter is in your safe - the one WITHOUT guns, since most likely they'll execute a search warrant and take everything in your gun safe. But that's a 1% chance of happening and only if your rifle malfunctions.

Bottom line - find a new gun store.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Regulator » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:28 pm

And hide your dog. Aw hell, someone had to say it.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by crypto » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:01 am

I'm not sure why theres hate for the FFL, guys just trying to run a business. I wouldn't expect someone to stick up for me over a $25 transfer.

My gut says that ATF is looking at the company who made it, and was wating for UPS to drop off the 1919.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by raptor » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:08 am

HKTackDriver wrote:
since I would not continue discussions with the ATF at all. Get me? NOT AT ALL. Do not talk to them again, at all, under any circumstance. Not if they show up on your door step, at work or if you are arrested. I'd also get a letter from the manufacturer stating that it was produced with a semi auto receiver, test fired semi auto and it is certified semi auto. If you ever have another problem, make sure that letter is in your safe - the one WITHOUT guns, since most likely they'll execute a search warrant and take everything in your gun safe. But that's a 1% chance of happening and only if your rifle malfunctions.

Bottom line - find a new gun store.
I think this is the best advice. Get the letter from the manufacturer. Scan and make a copy of all of your documentation showing the semi-auto order, description, etc. Explain to them what happened so they are also prepared for the BATF.
Last edited by raptor on Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Czechnology » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:12 am

crypto wrote:I'm not sure why theres hate for the FFL, guys just trying to run a business. I wouldn't expect someone to stick up for me over a $25 transfer.

My gut says that ATF is looking at the company who made it, and was wating for UPS to drop off the 1919.
There's a decided difference between standing back and staying out of it, and actively lying to distance yourself from an issue.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by velojym » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:25 am

Honestly, I've only met a few BATFE agents, and (not being political, just truthsome) it didn't seem like any of them had much more knowledge of firearms than the average joe. It's like they were trained to look for certain "scary" features, without any real understanding of how firearms really work.
The 1919 looks like it oughta be nothing but a full-auto-mow-em-down machine gun, and to someone who doesn't know any better, that's good enough for a big fat dose of suspicion.
We ran into the very same issue with the TSA, working in aviation. They knew nothing about aviation, but they had quite a bit of authority over how we did our work regardless. All we could do was make everything *look* as good as possible for their benefit, and try to do our real jobs as best we could besides.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Czechnology » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:26 am

velojym wrote:Honestly, I've only met a few BATFE agents, and (not being political, just truthsome) it didn't seem like any of them had much more knowledge of firearms than the average joe. It's like they were trained to look for certain "scary" features, without any real understanding of how firearms really work.
The 1919 looks like it oughta be nothing but a full-auto-mow-em-down machine gun, and to someone who doesn't know any better, that's good enough for a big fat dose of suspicion.
We ran into the very same issue with the TSA, working in aviation. They knew nothing about aviation, but they had quite a bit of authority over how we did our work regardless. All we could do was make everything *look* as good as possible for their benefit, and try to do our real jobs as best we could besides.
You just described 90% of mid-level management, IME.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Dasho101 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:55 am

consult a lawyer and keep them on retainer... just in case this goes south.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by velojym » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:57 am

A-freakin'-men, CZ
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Czechnology » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:35 am

velojym wrote:A-freakin'-men, CZ
I'm including myself in that, but when I was that guy, I really did my best to ask questions and let people know when I didn't know what I was talking about so they could tell me. Mainly because I remembered how awful it was when people didn't.
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Vicarious_Lee wrote:If Nutnfacny were an 8-ounce chicken fried steak, he'd come with 72 ounces of batter around it that you have to slash through to get to it.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Trebor » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:53 am

I don't subscribe to the "get a lawyer immediately" stuff, since I would not continue discussions with the ATF at all. Get me? NOT AT ALL. Do not talk to them again, at all, under any circumstance. Not if they show up on your door step, at work or if you are arrested.
That doesn't make any sense in this case. The ATF is ALREADY investigating him and his gun. The time for a lawyer is now, before they try to question him again or even arrest him. Now, you may disagree about having the lawyer contact the ATF on his behalf, but having a lawyer speak for you removes you from saying something potentially incriminating. And, if you do have to rely on that letter from the manufacturer or other evidence, have the lawyer present it rather than try to handle it yourself.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by AZMedic » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:09 am

Regulator wrote:And hide your dog. Aw hell, someone had to say it.
This is right under get a lawyer.

And I think we are serious.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by URBAN ASSAULT » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:35 am

Regulator wrote:And hide your dog. Aw hell, someone had to say it.
And your shoelaces... constructive intent, and all that.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by jamoni » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:14 am

There is an ongoing investigation regarding possible criminal charges against you? You need a lawyer. Call a good one, put him on retainer, do what he says.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Paladin1 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:21 am

Advice is cheap, so I'll chime in.

1.) I would gather up all your documentation in a folder, printing out any pertinent emails, communication and make copies. One copy if/when they demand information, the second for you in case things get 'lost'.

2.) Contact the manufacturer so they are not blind sided, ask for any additional support documentation, actual build/ship dates, materials, etc.

3.) I would not meet/talk with the agents again without an attorney present. I would say not anything but "here's my file of all the information about this transaction".

Being innocent and law abiding has nothing to do with these investigations, they are not "out to get you", but they are absolutely looking for something done wrong. And if they are ignorant about firearms then you do indeed need to cover yourself.

If the FFL will lie and throw you under the bus, I would not do business there again. I would not expect him to make a stand, just tell the truth.

I'm sure it will workout fine, just prepare for it not to.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by TravisM.1 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:46 am

Find a new FFL. And a Lawyer.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by HKTackDriver » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:00 pm

Trebor wrote:
I don't subscribe to the "get a lawyer immediately" stuff, since I would not continue discussions with the ATF at all. Get me? NOT AT ALL. Do not talk to them again, at all, under any circumstance. Not if they show up on your door step, at work or if you are arrested.
That doesn't make any sense in this case. The ATF is ALREADY investigating him and his gun. The time for a lawyer is now, before they try to question him again or even arrest him. Now, you may disagree about having the lawyer contact the ATF on his behalf, but having a lawyer speak for you removes you from saying something potentially incriminating. And, if you do have to rely on that letter from the manufacturer or other evidence, have the lawyer present it rather than try to handle it yourself.
OK, I'm a criminal defense attorney, my advice is what I'd tell someone who came into my office. I don't take people's money unnecessarily, however, I'm sure there are attorneys who would. He MAY be the subject of an investigation or as mentioned, it could be the manufacturer. You also seem to think that SOMEONE has to be speaking to the ATF - this is not the case. NO ONE SHOULD BE SPEAKING AT ALL TO THE ATF. Not him and not an attorney - do not draw attention to yourself and do not say something (personally or through an attorney) which may later be deemed an admission, lie or other crime. I hope I made that clear.


The way I see it, he hadn't taken possession of the weapon at the point of the conversation. If the ATF had reason to believe it was FA or derived from a FA receiver, they would have IMMEDIATELY confiscated it. Transfer of a full auto firearm, as we know, is a crime without a stamp. So if the ATF had knowledge, the FFL had knowledge, they're complicit in any crime. Which is why I don't believe he has any issues.

But if you guys want to throw money out the window at a guy like me, go nuts. I prefer to advise someone to not pay me and have him forever appreciative. I would find an attorney though, one who specializes in firearms crimes and keep his number on you and also give it to a loved one.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by Turtlewolf » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:16 pm

Yup, lawyer up. They are interfering with a legal transfer and if thier "expert" is anything like the RCMP "experts" they'll be there with a dremmel tool and anything else they need to make it full automatic.
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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by raptor » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:43 pm

HKTackDriver wrote:
The way I see it, he hadn't taken possession of the weapon at the point of the conversation. If the ATF had reason to believe it was FA or derived from a FA receiver, they would have IMMEDIATELY confiscated it. Transfer of a full auto firearm, as we know, is a crime without a stamp. So if the ATF had knowledge, the FFL had knowledge, they're complicit in any crime. Which is why I don't believe he has any issues.
Pure golden words of wisdom here; without a transfer to the OP no crime can possibly have been committed by the OP. Every action taken by the OP up to this point has been lawful. The OP having been notified of a potential issue did not take possession pending resolution of the matter.




If the ATF permits the transfer now with knowledge of a problem they have a problem themselves. The problem right now is only between the manufacturer, BATF and the FFL. That would explain (at least to me) why the FFL threw the OP under the bus so to speak.

Since the OP has been advised of the problem if it were me I would want a letter from the manufacturer stating that the weapon is fully BATF compliant. I would also like but good luck getting it a letter from the BATF stating that after inspecting the firearm they likewise consider it to be compliant.

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Re: The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Post by maldon007 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:59 pm

Braxton14 wrote: Image
I don't know... It looks very full auto.





:roll:
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