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Old October 20, 2012, 12:13 PM   #51
22-rimfire
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I don't recall seeing an ATF table at shows, but I haven't been attending many lately. But I think for those that aren't in law enforcement, seeing ATF people being made available to the public is a very good thing. Most are just trying to do their jobs, feed their families, and put their kids through school just like the rest of us.
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Old October 20, 2012, 08:54 PM   #52
AhChi WaWa
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Most are just trying to do their jobs, feed their families, and put their kids through school just like the rest of us.
So were the Brown Shirts.
Do fool yourself, you may be doing nothing wrong but from their perspective you are the prey.
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Old October 20, 2012, 09:22 PM   #53
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Do fool yourself, you may be doing nothing wrong but from their perspective you are the prey.
I have regular contact with agents of the ATF, and I can tell you that just isn't true. Most of them are simply folks trying to do their jobs, and life for them is easier when they don't have to bust someone.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:07 AM   #54
mrbatchelor
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Originally Posted by AhChi WaWa View Post
...
Do fool yourself, you may be doing nothing wrong but from their perspective you are the prey.
I don't ever have contact with ATF agents (so far anyway) and this seems a little over the top to me, too.

I'll grant that there are probably some in the organization who are zealots. There are zealot police also. And as you get toward the top some with political appointed affiliations actively work on an agenda.

But I suspect the vast majority of the boots on the ground agents would rather you just mind your business and not make their life harder.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:23 AM   #55
buck460XVR
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I asked one of them who was a big black guy
.....and this is relevant because?


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Do fool yourself, you may be doing nothing wrong but from their perspective you are the prey.
Went hunting pheasant yesterday on public land. Opening day, Wardens naturally were out. Ran into other hunters stating the same thing. Wardens I talked to were pleasant and just making their presence known. Only citations they gave were for legitimate violations. No need to be paranoid if one knows the laws and has nuttin' to hide. Law enforcement at all levels has realized that positive PR goes a long way towards making their job easier and making their presence known goes a long way towards keeping folks honest.
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Old October 21, 2012, 08:51 PM   #56
AhChi WaWa
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I didn't say they weren't polite and cordial to be around on a chance encounter or even regular business basis. I agree the ones at the tables are probably there for PR purposes and not for any ulterior conspiracy motive, and Yes, most of them would like to do their job in as pleasant a manner as possible and I'm sure that even the zealots, nothing pleases them more than to see a happy con and smiling mug shot. But don't think for a minute they are not looking for some violation as an excuse to look even closer. Don't think they will give you a break on a minor infraction even if you were ignorant of it. Don't think that any data they collect won't be passed up the chain in a report where others might decide to act on it. I spent 15 years working with various govt. agencies, some with internal oversight & compliance functions (not the one being discussed) and I saw first hand how many were easy going nice guys and family men but almost all would turn in a heartbeat if they discovered something they thought was against some regulation and reporting or acting on it made them look good and furthered their career agenda. Many were on a power trip because they could be, but usually only to those outside their circle.
But your right, if you are doing nothing wrong then you don't have anything to worry about.

Last edited by AhChi WaWa; October 21, 2012 at 08:58 PM.
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Old October 22, 2012, 06:36 AM   #57
Hunter Customs
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I've grown accustomed to glazing over the beef-jerky guy, knife folks, toy peddlers
I don't do gun shows anymore for the above reasons, they turned in to flea markets.
The last one I attended had very few gun related items.

As for having the ATF at gunshows that would not bother me at all, at least they are gun related.

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Old October 22, 2012, 10:59 PM   #58
mrbatchelor
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Originally Posted by AhChi WaWa View Post
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But don't think for a minute they are not looking for some violation as an excuse to look even closer.
...
Well, as someone who grew up with family full of LEOs my take would be that they're just acting like a county Sheriff's deputy or a Highway Patrol officer. They aren't "out to get you" specifically, but they're engaged in law enforcement. All the time. ALL the time.
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Old October 25, 2012, 08:01 PM   #59
berettaprofessor
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They aren't "out to get you" specifically, but they're engaged in law enforcement.
Bingo. As for those who think you won't have trouble if you're following the rules; I'm pretty sure that I don't know even a minor percentage of all the rules on the books. Oh sure, I know the big ones (don't kill, steal, or rape), but I learned those as a little boy in church. As for whether or not that little piece of metal with the extra hole in it is legal....I'm pretty stupid.
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