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Old September 17, 2013, 10:31 AM   #1
Durty
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ATF Agent Home Visit

Good Day,
Have any of you had ATF agents visit your home to check on your NFA items? I just spoke with a gentleman I work with who owns several suppressors. He claims ATF agents have paid him unannounced visits on more than one occasion--that they want to make sure he is following protocol with regards to keeping them locked up properly and to make sure he didn't possess anything he shouldn't. He says they are very polite and nice to deal with. He had his CLEO sign off on the items when they were purchased. He did not purchase the suppressors through a trust, corporation, etc. I do not know if he has had any run-ins with the law which may influence them to keep a close eye on him. I am curious to see how many of you with NFA items have had ATF agents come to your house.
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Old September 17, 2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Durty ....that they want to make sure he is following protocol with regards to keeping them locked up properly
There is no Federal law or ATF regulation that requires you "lock up properly" any firearm.
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Old September 17, 2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Thank you for that clarification. But to my question, has the ATF come to your home? Or do you have knowledge of a personal aquaintence who has had a visit?
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Old September 17, 2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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Maybe the OP's friend also has an FFL, hence the safe storage check?
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Old September 17, 2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Or do you have knowledge of a personal aquaintence who has had a visit?
I do, and one actually let them in his house, upon which they took license to do all sorts of prying. They had no warrant, but claimed that things "would be easier" if they let them "inspect" his collection.

You do not relinquish any rights when owning NFA items. The ATF can knock on your door all they want; without a warrant, you do not have to let them in.
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Old September 17, 2013, 03:26 PM   #6
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That's a good point- that without a warrant, you do not have to let them in and they cannot force entry
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Old September 17, 2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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All I can say is that I owned registered auto weapons for about 30 years and never had anyone come to my house or contact me. I moved from one location in the state to another, and all I did was write a letter giving BATFE my new address.

Because of my (unfortunately) advancing age, I decided to sell the guns a couple of years ago so my wife would not have a problem when I went to the big gun show in the sky, so things may have changed.

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Old September 17, 2013, 07:01 PM   #8
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There's a lot of misinformation surrounding this. Usually, it's the myth that the ATF can inspect your collection if you have a "Class 3" license or somesuch.

This actually comes from the whole confusion over the meaning of "Class 3." There is no such thing as a Class 3 weapon. There is no such thing as a Class 3 license.

"Class 3" denotes the tax that a dealer in the business of selling NFA weapons has. As a dealer, he's subject to having his inventory inspected. Heck, he's subject to that even if he's just a Title 1 dealer.

An individual who has paid the tax stamp is not subject to inspections. If the ATF shows up on my porch asking to come in, they can produce a warrant or they can get off my property.
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Old September 17, 2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Interesting stuff. Makes sense. When my acquaintence was describing their home visits he went into detail which led me to believe he wasn't boldface lying about the ATF coming to his house.. I was honestly shocked to hear they showed up at his doorstep... I really wanted to verify with any of yall to see if anything similar has happened to you. Because part of me still thinks, "surely those guys have something more productive to do during their work day than visit people who own suppressors..."
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Old September 17, 2013, 09:03 PM   #10
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Re: ATF Agent Home Visit

No warrant. No entry.
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Old September 17, 2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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When my acquaintence was describing their home visits he went into detail which led me to believe he wasn't boldface lying about the ATF coming to his house.
In law-enforcement circles, the practice is known as "fishing."
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Old September 17, 2013, 09:07 PM   #12
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MLeake Maybe the OP's friend also has an FFL, hence the safe storage check?
There is no such thing as a "safe storage check".

Licensed dealers are not required to have a safe, an alarm, a big dog or even lock the door.

Often people confuse the "safe storage" requirement with the dealer having a vault or safe.................it's nothing of the sort. Only that the dealer must have gun locks or other "safe storage" devices available at his premises.
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Old September 18, 2013, 07:02 AM   #13
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Shortly after I got my first suppressor The FBI came knocking at my door and I was very nervous. What it was is that my next door neighbor had applied to work there and they came to check on him. It was really painless and had nothing to do with the suppressor.
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Old September 18, 2013, 02:59 PM   #14
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Re: ATF Agent Home Visit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
In law-enforcement circles, the practice is known as "fishing."
Cops will let you talk as much as you're willing to. You might just incriminate yourself. Keep the door closed and your mouth shut.
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Old September 18, 2013, 03:15 PM   #15
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I've owned NFA items for the last 7 years or so and have never had a single interaction with the BATF in regards to them, aside from my returned Form 1s and 4s.

So many people seem to of bought into Wayne LaPierre's wacky, spectacularly successful fundraising scam of "Jack Booted Thugs" in regards to BATF, FBI and every other entity that surely operates Black Helicopters that it seems to of warped their logic about Federal Law Enforcement.

Sure there there are BATF agents that are jackasses, but I've never met one. From what I've seen, most of them have been more interested in making sure people are complying, rather than looking to make petty arrests for silly infractions. Believe it or not, there are actual real criminals out there that they're chasing after, instead of just running around harassing law-abiding gun owners and FFLs for grins and giggles.
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Old September 18, 2013, 05:03 PM   #16
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In the seven years that I had a registered machine gun, I never had a visit.
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Old September 18, 2013, 05:34 PM   #17
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What breakingcontact said:
Quote:
No warrant. No entry.
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Old September 18, 2013, 05:37 PM   #18
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All good info. I appreciate the input. Makes me think the guy I talked to had previous run ins with the law or something like that. 3 visits by agents seems excessive. Surely (if he is telling the truth) he has some past history which keeps him on their short list.
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Old September 18, 2013, 05:48 PM   #19
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Machinegun owner for 10 years - no visit from BATFE. I remember asking about this when I was considering buying a machine gun. No one was able to give me even one example of BATFE coming out to check up on their registered machine gun.

In fact, it was when I had to register my USAS-12 on a Form 1 in the 1990's (stupid requirement for a semi-auto 12ga shotgun, but I did register it) that I realized "gee, that was easy". I figured now that my photograph and fingerprints are with the FBI/BATF, why not look into seeing what I'd have to do to buy a machine gun. When I found out that the CLEO in my county would sign, after doing his own background check, I started the process of locating one that I wanted etc. etc.
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Old September 18, 2013, 06:18 PM   #20
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I have a friend who bought 5 AK receivers and had two suits from the ATF knocking on his door asking if he was manufacturing. He showed them the 5 receivers they left. He lives in Atlanta. Happened a couple of years ago.
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Old September 18, 2013, 06:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
I have a friend who bought 5 AK receivers and had two suits from the ATF knocking on his door asking if he was manufacturing. He showed them the 5 receivers they left. He lives in Atlanta. Happened a couple of years ago.
I don't know about GA, but if you're in a border state and you buy more than one "assault weapon" at once, they have to fill out a form similar to what they do for a multiple handgun purchase.

During the post Sandy Hook craze, I stocked up on EBRs and bought out Ft. Hood's PX of FN products and am still waiting for BATF to come admire my collection.

If you show a pattern of buying large quantities of pistols/EBRs they'll probably want to know why you're buying so many. If one or two aren't there, it's no problem. But if you've bought 20 and can't show a single one, you're probably going to have some questions to answer.
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Old September 18, 2013, 07:00 PM   #22
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I don't know about GA, but if you're in a border state and you buy more than one "assault weapon" at once, they have to fill out a form similar to what they do for a multiple handgun purchase.
Well, they can ask all they want. Unless they've got a warrant, I've every right to tell them to cheese off. The multiple sale forms are an accounting requirement for dealers; they place no obligation on the end user.

Heck, just to make it fun, I'd tell them to wait on the driveway while I called local law enforcement. That'd be a fun conversation.
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Old September 18, 2013, 09:49 PM   #23
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I don't know what the current administration might have ordered, but AFAIK, BATFE really doesn't care a rat's fanny about registered NFA firearms. They only care about those that are not registered. I have known folks who had over a hundred registered machineguns and no one seemed to care.

It is almost like an automobile tag. A cop will pass a thousand cars that have license plates and not care or even notice. But if he sees a car without one, that is another story.

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Old September 19, 2013, 08:00 AM   #24
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The BATFE showing up because a non FFL buys multiple receivers, or something similar, has nothing to do with a legally transferred machine gun. Where I can understand where the BATFE would have some interest in seeing if a non-FFL/SOT is manufacturing and selling guns, I don't believe the BATFE has much interest in social visits to check up on legally transferred machine guns.
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Old September 19, 2013, 01:26 PM   #25
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glassguy I have a friend who bought 5 AK receivers and had two suits from the ATF knocking on his door asking if he was manufacturing. He showed them the 5 receivers they left. He lives in Atlanta. Happened a couple of years ago.
1. How would they know how many he had?
2. It is not illegal for a nonlicensee to manufacture firearms for his own use.


Multiple sales of handguns within a five day period (and in the border states certain rifles) require the dealer to fax or mail a multiple sale form to ATF.......but AK receivers are not pistols and not rifles so are not required to be reported.

Even if your friend said "uh yeah I'm building AK's"...............so what? Nothing illegal unless he's doing so as a business.
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