ATF Trying to Make Gun Stores Spy on Customers and Illegally Trying to Obtain Purchase Records
According to a growing number of gun store owners in Alaska, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) seems to embroiled in yet another shady gun scandal. The same agency that is already facing a Congressional investigation into its illegal activity in the Fast and Furious scandal, is now in the process of illegally trying to find out exactly what weapons you own.
In a report from Ammoland Shooting Sports News, a number of gun stores in Alaska are accusing the ATF of illegally trying to obtain their records. According to gun store owners in Alaska, ATF agents are making them submit ’4473 Forms’ going back to 2007.
Form 4473 is the official form that gun stores require you to fill out at the time of purchase. It contains the make/model/serial # of the firearm, all your personal information, your photo I.D., and the official F.B.I. background check. The form is never sent to any government agency and is supposed to be kept by the dealer.
Under the law, the ATF can only inspect these records during a criminal investigation and cannot request these records for any other purpose. But in now seems the ATF is directly violating the law, and trying to find out exactly what you bought and when you bought it.
This isn’t the first time the ATF has been involved in a scandal like this. In fact, the NRA in the process of filing a lawsuit challenging the ATF’s policy that requires gun store owners to report anyone who buys more that one firearm. Despite the fact that this language was specifically rejected by Congress, the ATF has been engaging in a policy of harassment and intimidation. They have sent numerous letters to gun dealers demanding information on anyone who buys “two or more pistols or revolvers, or any combination of pistols or revolvers totaling two or more.”
The letter orders firearms retailers to
You must submit to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports of multiple sales or other dispositions whenever, at one time or during any five consecutive business days, you sell or otherwise dispose of two or more semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting a detachable magazine and with a caliber greater than .22 (including .223/5.56 caliber) to an unlicensed person. You are required to report all such sales that occur on or after August 14, 2011. You must continue reporting multiple sales for the rifles subject to this demand letter until we provide written notice to stop.
Ammoland is advising these gun store owners not to comply, and they are telling them that they are within their legal rights to refuse the ATF request.