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raisitup
June 7, 2011, 06:36 PM
I've read a few times in the past that ATF has the "right" to search your home if you have a registered Title II firearm/etc. as a private individual. Two questions:

1. Is it true? Have you somehow given up your 4th amendment rights once you legally own a T2 item?

2. Whether true or not, are there any cases on record where a search of a private residence by ATF was conducted simply due to having possession of a T2 item?

Thanks!
Ryan

James K
June 7, 2011, 08:44 PM
It is not true. No one gives up any rights by virtue of owning a registered a Title II firearm. A search would come under the same rules as any home search. Of course, owning an unregistered Title II firearn would come under the same rules as possessing any other contraband (illegal drugs, etc.).

I know of no case where BATFE or any other LE agency searched a home solely because the occupant had a registered Title II firearm.

FWIW, I owned a half dozen machineguns/submachineguns for over 40 years and the only contact I ever had with BATFE was to send them a change of address. MD state requires an annual registration, which is a PITA, but other than that, I never heard from the State Police either.

There have been a few cases where police/feds raided a home because of a false report of possession of illegal arms or explosives, the infamous Ballew case being the worst. At one time BATFE "cowboys" seemed to like to raid homes more or less for the fun of it, and on almost any pretext. I believe (or maybe would like to believe) that things have changed. But still I know of no case where registered Title II firearms were involved.

Jim

Buzzard Bait
June 7, 2011, 09:00 PM
Is there still a 4Th amendment? Been to the airport lately?
bb

chasep255
June 7, 2011, 10:13 PM
The only thing I know of in which you give up that right is if you have an FFL.

The Law
June 7, 2011, 10:53 PM
The only thing I know of in which you give up that right is if you have an FFL.

This is correct. The ATF can conduct an annual "compliance" inspection of an FFL. Also, the standard for a warrant is marginally eased for FFLs.

Non-FFL firearm owners (including Title II firearms) are still protected by the 4th amendment. Probable cause is required for a search warrant. Even then, the ATF/AUSA will sometimes screw that up by not being specific in their warrants (these warrants can usually get tossed).

dogtown tom
June 7, 2011, 11:43 PM
The Law Quote:
The only thing I know of in which you give up that right is if you have an FFL.

This is correct. The ATF can conduct an annual "compliance" inspection of an FFL. Also, the standard for a warrant is marginally eased for FFLs.


I'm an FFL and the statements above are nonsense. Where on earth do you guys get this stuff? :rolleyes:

An ATF compliance inspection is not a search and is limited to the licensees bound book, 4473's, Multiple Sale of Handgun reports and his firearm inventory. It IS NOT a search but an inspection. The IOI cannot go and search your sock drawer, your doghouse or your daughters closet. They sit down at your dining table and compare the bound book vs 4473's vs your inventory. That's it.

If you ARE served with a search warrant it is because probable cause was presented to a judge who signed for it.

The Law
June 8, 2011, 09:55 AM
I'm an FFL and the statements above are nonsense. Where on earth do you guys get this stuff?

An ATF compliance inspection is not a search and is limited to the licensees bound book, 4473's, Multiple Sale of Handgun reports and his firearm inventory. It IS NOT a search but an inspection. The IOI cannot go and search your sock drawer, your doghouse or your daughters closet. They sit down at your dining table and compare the bound book vs 4473's vs your inventory. That's it.

If you ARE served with a search warrant it is because probable cause was presented to a judge who signed for it.

I think we are in agreement regarding the inspection.

However, 18 USC Section 923(g)(1)(A) (http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/923) states, in pertinent part:

The Attorney General, when he has reasonable cause to believe a violation of this chapter has occurred and that evidence thereof may be found on such premises, may, upon demonstrating such cause before a Federal magistrate judge and securing from such magistrate judge a warrant authorizing entry...

You will note that the standard is NOT "probable cause" but rather "reasonable cause." This was a by-product of FOPA. Hence, the warrant standard for an FFL is in fact marginally relaxed.

James K
June 8, 2011, 11:31 AM
BATFE can inspect the business premises of an FFL 01 dealer to ensure that all the guns on the premises are properly recorded or are exempt for some reason (e.g., personal property of the dealer). The justification is the need to ensure proper record keeping and that a dealer is not buying and selling "off the book", or "leaking" inventory through illegal sales, carelessness, or theft. That, IMHO, is a very good reason NOT to have business premises in the home or at least to keep the business area separate from the living area. Otherwise, the "sock drawer" could be subject to inspection if the dealer keeps part of his inventory in his bedroom. (Yes, I know dealers who do just that!)

That is not the case with a C&R FFL. Since it is presumed that the C&R licensee has no "business premises" (for his collecting activity) and that he carries out that activity in his home, BATFE is limited to inspecting his book and if the licensee chooses that can be done at the BATFE office, not at the collector's home. But even for a C&R FFL, if there is cause to believe there is some illegal activity, like illegal dealing, a warrant can be obtained to search the house.

Jim

medalguy
June 10, 2011, 11:02 PM
I have owned machine guns since 1963 and I have NEVER had BATFE come to look at them. I was an FFL holder for many years, and they DID come and inspect my books from time to time but never, ever did they ask about any of the machine guns, SBS, or SBR I personally owned.

Skans
June 11, 2011, 11:00 AM
You give up no rights to BATFE by owning a registered weapon. That myth has been floating around for decades, and knowledegable folks have been debunking it for decades.

raisitup
June 11, 2011, 11:20 AM
thanks all, now i know i can debunk when i hear it.

Ryan

Ltriker
June 13, 2011, 10:39 AM
Do more than that...buy something title II and know what the facts are...besides, these are just fun to own.