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Old October 9, 2012, 01:39 PM   #26
Skans
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.ie they don't carry guns, they're beancounters.
You seem to have some good insight, but I'm not getting it. A "beancounter" to me is nothing more than an accountant. The folks sitting at the table aren't counting anything. I was thinking that they were more of a command post, or communications relay for their agents walking around looking for problems. Or, maybe they are exactly what they look like - there to educate public and dealers about firearms laws. That seems odd, because the IRS doesn't set up tables at any event to try to inform the public on how to fill out their tax returns. The FBI doesn't exactly go out of their way to educate the public on how not to violate federal laws.
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:13 PM   #27
wayneinFL
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Sounds like a community policing effort. Good.
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Old October 9, 2012, 02:29 PM   #28
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Quote:
Skans
Quote:
Quote:
.ie they don't carry guns, they're beancounters.
You seem to have some good insight, but I'm not getting it. A "beancounter" to me is nothing more than an accountant. The folks sitting at the table aren't counting anything.
They aren't "counting anything" because their supervisor told them to go to a gun show instead of being at home for the weekend.

IOI's are the ATF employees who are responsible for......wait for it........Industry Operations ( the "Industry" in this case being the firearms industry) This means they count beans (guns) at the premises of a licensed dealer or manufacturer. They conduct compliance inspections, which is an audit of the dealers bound book, 4473's and inventory. They also serve as a resource for dealers who have questions regarding commerce in firearms. Having ATF IOI's at a gun show is a good thing.





Quote:
I was thinking that they were more of a command post, or communications relay for their agents walking around looking for problems. Or, maybe they are exactly what they look like - there to educate public and dealers about firearms laws. That seems odd, because the IRS doesn't set up tables at any event to try to inform the public on how to fill out their tax returns. The FBI doesn't exactly go out of their way to educate the public on how not to violate federal laws.
It's a table at a gun show, plain and simple. For all the faults of ATF, having a table at a gun show serve as a command post or communications relay for supposed "undercover investigations" would be laughable. But it does make for good conspiracy theory.

Note that the IRS and FBI don't have direct regulatory authority over interstate commerce in firearms.....and ATF does.

It might surprise you but ATF conducts several educational seminars for dealers and manufacturers at the SHOT Show each year. Do they have to? No.
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:00 PM   #29
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Respectfully though, thats not a beancounter. A beancounter is sometimes friendly, sometimes derogatory term for accountant. Now if the ATF uses accountants to check store paperwork, thats possible however unlikely, but I am in a different line of work...
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Old October 9, 2012, 03:18 PM   #30
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Tom, thanks for the more detailed explanation. I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but being a lay person in the area of ATF affairs (like the other 5,000 attendees), no one really knows what it's about.
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Old October 9, 2012, 04:22 PM   #31
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And that would be THE problem.
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Old October 9, 2012, 04:53 PM   #32
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Apparently the ATF at shows in the DFW area of TX have been videotaping at gun shows. Trying to capture what exactly I am unsure but it has been reported as happening.
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Old October 9, 2012, 05:56 PM   #33
dogtown tom
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ripnbst Apparently the ATF at shows in the DFW area of TX have been videotaping at gun shows. Trying to capture what exactly I am unsure but it has been reported as happening.
Do you have a source for that claim? If it's "been reported" by who?
Every gun show in the DFW area has a policy of "no photos, no video".
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Old October 9, 2012, 06:49 PM   #34
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I'll bet ya dollars to donuts -- some needle neck atfe hqs geek that never made an arrest suggested this and got a $10k award for implementing it.
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Old October 9, 2012, 09:52 PM   #35
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I get the feeling theyre just there to watch everybody but then, they could do that in plain clothes anyway. Maybe they just want to make their presence known?
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Old October 10, 2012, 07:31 AM   #36
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Im glad to see the ATF inspectors at the gunshows when I see them. They are generally very helpful and willing to pass along information to folks and also being there allows them to be accessible to folks to give them advice so they dont go astray of the laws.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:38 AM   #37
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I would refer to them as gofers instead of beancounters... as in go fer a cup of coffee....

My opinion of it (you knew I had one didn't you?) is that it is a PR attempt to get the public (gun owner segment) to see them in a little more friendly light. It also could make a favorable impression on the nightly news. They have such a despicable image among many (most?) gun owners that I think they are trying to change that and put forth an effort to be seen in a more favorable manner, as an information resource or show presence just trying to help.

The people I see manning the tables (and I have looked specifically) are not the older experienced manager types who could answer a lot of questions but instead they seem to be younger staff, not especially enthusiastic about their assignment. Maybe that is because their table is empty with a small stack of fold out brochures and seldom is there anyone stopping to chat.

I propose we give them something to do, at the next show, stop by and ask a technical question or two or three. See what their response is. Don't forget to get their name and other ID - they would do the same to you.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:46 AM   #38
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I wonder how many times someone comes up to them during a show and asks "can you check on my silencer transfer"?

What would be really helpful is if they hand sample NFA Trusts that had been approved; or the "how-to's" in drafting your own NFA Trust.
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:01 PM   #39
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Trust laws vary from state to state as well, so it would be hard for them to do so.
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:02 PM   #40
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So is the BATFE a regulatory agency or a revenue agency?

I have never truly understood the distinction, however, I have always felt it rather unnecessary that an organization mainly responsible for taxes on luxury goods feels it necessary to carry submachine guns and Glock 22s.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:43 PM   #41
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SPEMack618 So is the BATFE a regulatory agency or a revenue agency?
All tax collection responsibilities were transferred to the Tax and Trade Bureau in 2003.
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Old October 11, 2012, 11:09 PM   #42
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Your NFA tax is still paid via check written out to the BATFE.
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Old October 12, 2012, 08:00 PM   #43
AhChi WaWa
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IIRC... (that's always a gamble)... when various agencies were consolidated into DHS under Bush, the ATF was split into two or three components and dispersed to different departments. Regulation & Tax collection of Alcohol, Tobacco and -maybe- firearms stamps went to treasury or became part of IRS or something and the enforcement section of firearms, explosives and door-kickers went to DHS or some LE sub component.

Could be all wrong but that's how I remember it, so when you pay your tax stamp, it probably is to the regulation side. I don't know how they could be split into two different department groups and still use the same letterhead but that is what it sounds like.
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Old October 13, 2012, 10:07 PM   #44
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did they sell any thing?
Lots of people like their products
^this^

ATF?

I propose the BBA (Beer, Bait, Ammo) Kevin Fowler!
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:30 PM   #45
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Although people tend to compare the ATF to 1984's big brother I tend to think they have tables at shows to foster good will. If they are also out undercover, they are doing their job. If you are not breaking the law then it is not of any consequence what they are doing. If someone sketchy approaches you and you are not sure if that transaction would be within the law go over to the ATF table and have them clear it up for you.

Now before you jump all over me I do think they have perpetrated some monumental failures that fall well outside the bounds of the law, F&F for example. I think that kinds of thing can be put on the leadership at the highest levels not the people in the trenches trying to do a job and follow orders.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:48 PM   #46
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I've seen them at the Indy 1500 show. I stopped to talk to them but they had weren't able to answer any questions about NFA stuff. I don't know if they were instructed not to answer such questions or if they simply weren't qualified. All they could do was hand out literature.
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Old October 17, 2012, 05:06 PM   #47
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Last time I went, they were there in force and harassing, at least in my opinion. Two bugged me and followed me around for about 30 minutes trying to get me to sell a weapon I was carrying and looking for a trade.
The next show is this weekend. Here's the link. Scroll to the bottom of the page to read about the ATF presence. http://www.cegunshows.com/ShowInform...9/Default.aspx
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Old October 18, 2012, 08:42 PM   #48
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Some years ago, they were a regular fixture at shows in VA and NC. They were the inspectors(beancounbters) and not special agents. I remember a couple of times when they were handing out donuts.

However, the scope of their knowledge always seemed limited to me. Most questions were answered by "contact the technical division in WVA".

I never saw them walking around looking at tables or otherwise snooping. There were the usual number of conspiricy nuts starting rumors about videotaping or 'spying' on dealers and attendees.

The cops I see in most shows, are there free by badging their way.
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Old October 19, 2012, 07:52 AM   #49
Skans
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The cops I see in most shows, are there free by badging
their way.

All of the state / local cops I see at gun shows (other than the guy checking guns at the door) are there looking at guns like the rest of us. I can't tell you why they are there; just that are usually looking at revolvers and jawing with the venders - nothing too unusual there.
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Old October 19, 2012, 09:37 AM   #50
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