Advice needed - potential ATF visit...


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possenti
August 16, 2006, 10:46 PM
Long time, no posting in a while. Good to be back on the High Road.

I have a neighbor I used to be good friends with, but over the past year or so, things fell apart between his family and mine (long story). Recently, I was driving on a country backroad with my family when his 18 year-old Eminem/Slim Shady wannabe son started tailgating me. There was no place to pull over, so I slowed down to let him pass. The slower I went, the closer he got - so close I couldn't see his headlights in my rearview mirror. At this point, my wife and daughter were hysterical. I finally stopped, but he still refused to go around. I got out of the Jeep, walked back to his car and told him to back off or go around, and then told him he should learn how to drive. Of course, my vocabulary was peppered with four-letter words, but I never insulted nor threatened him. I told him to "go tell your daddy" what happened, because with my past experience with him, I knew he would. I spoke with his father later on the phone, and he made every excuse he could for his son. He never disciplines his children and tells everyone "Tommy* can do whatever he wants. He's a good kid." whenever someone has a run-in with him. The kid's headed for BIG trouble... (*name changed)

A few days after this incident, I heard from two very reliable sources that the father talked about calling the ATF about "illegal guns" I have in my house to get even for me yelling at his angel. Being a former friend, he knows about my "arsenal", but doesn't quite understand that everything I have is legally owned and compliant with the "US parts count rule". All he knows is I have guns that "look like machine guns" and he wishes to use that against me.

Could I possibly "pre-empt" him and voluntarily have the ATF come and "clear" or "certify" my collection? I've never met him, but my friend's stepdad works for the ATF and I've thought about talking to him about this. I'm nervous about inviting federal agents into my home, but should I just sit, wait and worry for my neighborly friend to sic the dogs on me? If he doesn't do it this time, he'll do it next time something happens with his little darling son - and there will be a "next time" - until the little hellion ends up in jail for drug possession or something.

The most sickening thing about this whole situation is the fact that my neighbor recently ran for public state office as a "conservative pro-family, pro-gun" candidate. He's one of those supposed "pillars of the community". He knows full well what happened at Ruby Ridge and Waco, but still felt justified in resorting to such a low-life vengeful tactic. Thank God he lost the election.

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possenti
August 16, 2006, 10:55 PM
ATF, BATF, BATFE, or whatever they call themselves these days... Like I said, I haven't been on the High Road enough to keep up lately.

Yeah - the "brake check" was tempting, and would have been employed if my family wasn't in the vehicle with me. :evil:

blackhawk2000
August 16, 2006, 10:56 PM
ATF stands for evil incarnate.


This is a no win situation for you, IMO. Move away.

SOT
August 16, 2006, 11:03 PM
I doubt the ATF will even call. If they do tell them your neighbor doesn't know what he's talking about, and every gun you is legal under both federal and state law (assuming that's true.)

Art Eatman
August 16, 2006, 11:07 PM
Generally, whoever arrives first has more credibility. Probably wouldn't hurt to make contact and explain your side of the story.

Politely.

Art

rustymaggot
August 16, 2006, 11:19 PM
video cameras and tape recorders can help win arguments when things go bad like that. my digital camera does video as well as has a record sound feature. only 80 sec video but the tape recorder option is 30 minutes.

Nio
August 16, 2006, 11:25 PM
...but what is the "US parts count rule"?

Nio

Soybomb
August 16, 2006, 11:27 PM
Quit playing the game, cussing out the neighbors kid in no way helps you. Just file a police report next time. Don't call the ATF, let the loonies tell them whatever they want. When the ATF comes to your door with a warrant, worry about it then.

taliv
August 16, 2006, 11:27 PM
your problem isn't with the atf. and relating the sordid details of another family feud in kentucky to some federal wage slave will accomplish little.

1. never argue with a fool. people won't be able to tell who's who.
2. that goes double for stopping in the middle of the road to argue with juveniles.
3. learn to de-escalate situations. you deserve what you get after stopping like that.
4. fix your relationship with your friend. i'd recommend starting by not running him down on internet forums.

Robert Hairless
August 17, 2006, 12:48 AM
A few days after this incident, I heard from two very reliable sources that the father talked about calling the ATF about "illegal guns" I have in my house to get even for me yelling at his angel.

I suggest that you consult a good, aggressive attorney. Explain the situation as you've done here and be sure to include the point I've highlighted. Give him the names of those two very reliable sources.

Your former friend is attempting to abuse not only you but also the BATFE and the process itself. Involving an attorney at this point could save you problems later and might result in your attorney contacting your former friend and alerting him to the potentially expensive and unpleasant consequences if he pursues the course on which he said he would embark. My guess is that "Tommy" might even be encouraged by papa to stay as far away from you and your family as is humanly possible.

cassandrasdaddy
August 17, 2006, 01:53 AM
i'd invite atf in there. but i'd document all your weapons and use video too. once you make their radar its hard to get off and you'd feel real silly if the doofus didn't call but you did and started their interest.i might get my guns "appraised" by an expert or two so i had collabrative evidence of what they were exactly.

SomeKid
August 17, 2006, 02:34 AM
Could I possibly "pre-empt" him and voluntarily have the ATF come and "clear" or "certify" my collection?

As I recall, David Koresh offered to let the government look at his stuff. Do note, it did not do him very much good.

He isn't your friend, he is your enemy. Act accordingly.

The Guy
August 17, 2006, 04:43 AM
Right about now is when I would start to worry about a 3:00 am visit by your freindly neighborhood BATF&E.

I would bury or move everything that you had that was bought without the NICS check, you know, the stuff they have no record of. I would then video and take pics documenting the 100% leaglity of everything else, esspecially the trigger groups. Give a copy of everything you document to your lawyer. If you are like me, and stock a "pile" of rainy day ammo, I would do away with most of it too by cacheing it off propery.

Remember, F-troop loves "good" publicity, and the T.V. vans outside the next morning will be showing your "arsenal" over the airwaves. Do every thing possible to limit the number of firearms, ammo, and gun powder present. If you have lead pipe in your garage, get rid of it too, it can be called "bomb making material".

Get rid of all your Boston T. Party and John Ross books as well, along with your gun mags. Anything found that can be used against you in the court of public oppinion will be, even if you never so much as have to set foot in the courtroom.

It is alot of work I know, but is your good name and freedom worth anything less? If you are totaly "clean", then the chance of ending up in court are slim, and the effort will offset any legal bills you would have paid otherwise.

I would stay in clean mode for at least a year or two, and durring that time I would consider moving.

And no, you shouldn't have to go through all of this, but then again, you don't want to become the next Randy Weaver, do you?

Edited to fix syntax mistake

possenti
August 17, 2006, 05:29 AM
your problem isn't with the atf. and relating the sordid details of another family feud in kentucky to some federal wage slave will accomplish little.

1. never argue with a fool. people won't be able to tell who's who.
2. that goes double for stopping in the middle of the road to argue with juveniles.
3. learn to de-escalate situations. you deserve what you get after stopping like that.
4. fix your relationship with your friend. i'd recommend starting by not running him down on internet forums.

Due to time constraints, I can't give all the details of our past history, but let's just say that reconciliation will never happen, and I'm not "running down" anyone here. I'm only asking for advice to protect myself.

If you and your family are ever terrorized in a road rage situation to the point that your wife and daughter are in tears because they're afraid of being run off the road, explain to me how to remain calm and "de-escalate" the situation. Obviously, I don't have the superior conflict resoulution skills you posess, but I think I handled it pretty damn well.

So, I "get what I deserve for stopping like that"? Thanks a lot buddy. I deserve having my door kicked in by "federal wage slaves" at 3am and guns pointed in my wife and kid's faces because I cussed out a punk who endangered my family's life. I guess you think Randy Weaver got "what he deserved" also? With second amendment advocates like you, we don't need any enemies.

possenti
August 17, 2006, 05:57 AM
Get rid of all your Boston T. Party and John Ross books as well, along with your gun mags. Anything found that can be used against you in the court of public oppinion will be, even if you are never even so much as have to set foot in the courtroom.

Yep. I've already thought of this. Ayn Rand, John Ross, Claire Wolfe and Matt Bracken titles, along with a stack of gun rags might have to go into storage - at least until this storm blows over. Heck, I think I'll even dispose that half brick of firecrackers left over from the 4th of July. (They're "illegal" in KY.)

I also know a good lawyer who can refer me to someone for advice if he's not able to do it himself. I think I'll look into that option first. Thanks.

mike101
August 17, 2006, 05:58 AM
:fire: You should go right to the local police and sign a criminal complaint against the kid. Terrorizing your family and trying to run you off the road are not traffic violations. They are felonies, like wreckless endangerment, for one. Nail the little creep.

You're lucky, because you have witnesses. You don't even need to hire a lawyer. Prosecutors are free. What this punk needs is a criminal record. That should shut his old man up. It should also keep him away from you and your family. If it doesn't, there are always restraining orders.

You could also probably have Dad charged with harrassment, if he really did call the Feds about you.

You don't have to take this crap. :fire:

bruss01
August 17, 2006, 07:08 AM
My granddad used to say "the more you stir crap, the worse it stinks". The last thing you want is to involve police or other agencies where things might get out of control.

First mistake: Neighbor knows what kind of guns you have. None of his business, and everything that leaves the house should be in a gun case. Yeah, I know, people tend to be friendly with neighbors, they're curious and just want to see... the inclination is to be friendly back and show them, talk about what you have. But what when, years later, the relationship goes sour? A situation like this, that's what. Advice to all - shuddup about what kind of firearms you have, and even if everything's 100% legal doesn't mean someone can't SAY it's not and get you harrassed by enforcement.

Good advice about getting a GUN EXPERT to assess everything you have for strict legality. Get his assessment on video tape. Copy of tape to your lawyer. Parts count? I'm assuming you mean American Made parts. Is each and every one of them stamped "Made In USA"? So you have papers... explain to the nice ATF man how you can prove that THIS part is for THAT paperwork? And not for another part in another gun somewhere... You can't. Anything at all "iffy" or "borderline" or "arguable" get rid of it NOW. Sell it to some guy (maybe for $1 to your brother) whose name you can't remember. In fact, it would not be amiss to sell the majority of your collection this way, retaining only what you need for immediate home defense. (think: 2 revolvers and a shotgun) That way if you do get "no-knocked" at 3 am you won't be spending thousands to get back your legally owned firearms after they're confiscated "for evaluation" or "evidence" or have them conveniently turn up missing while in bureau custody. If your brother doesn't have space, he can rent a locker somewhere, in his own name. Maybe you can help him out with some cash every month, that's what brothers are for, right?

Ok, granted there may be "history" that isn't completely clear, but was it necessary to curse and swear at the kid? Kids typically do stupid things without realizing how their actions might be interpreted. Maybe he didn't think that he was following too close, or that his driving might have given anyone cause for concern (wife and daughter in tears? over being tailgated? Must be the sensitive type...). Or maybe he knew full well what state of mind he was evoking, just wanted to "play" with you a bit. Maybe the best thing would have been to call 911 on the cell, get his butt pulled over and have to explain himself to the cops. Or you could have driven to the police station. If it really had been a gang-banger or some evil-doer, stopping at the side of the road somewhere might have been a bad move. Again, I wasn't there, so it's hard to judge. You didn't state whether you were armed for the confrontation or not. Either way, it sounds risky.

This story is ample evidence why you want to do everything possible to maintain good relationships with neighbors. With friends, if the relationship goes south, you just quit hanging out with them. With co-workers, if it's bad enough, you quit and find a new job. With neighbors, once the animosity has started, the only solution is to move. That can be really inconvenient, especially if you own your home. And need I say again, your neighbor has no business knowing what's in your gun cabinet. Any sheeple (or in this case, someone who knows, or should know, better) can alledge you have a "machine gun" just because he spots you toting an AR-15 to the car on a Saturday morning, going for a range session. USE A GUN CASE, if asked it's an old plinker, gonna shoot some targets, gonna be late can't talk right now seeya... Privacy is golden.

taliv
August 17, 2006, 09:24 AM
So, I "get what I deserve for stopping like that"? Thanks a lot buddy. I deserve having my door kicked in by "federal wage slaves" at 3am and guns pointed in my wife and kid's faces because I cussed out a punk who endangered my family's life.

you didn't get your door kicked in. what you got was a couple days of time wasted on worrying.

tailgating is annoying, but you weren't run off the road.

22-rimfire
August 17, 2006, 09:39 AM
IF you have nothing to hide, I would not worry about it. It is as simple as that. Things will cool off; let it.

Added: I would hate to have the personal intrusion involved with police as they assume you are guilty and will really root through your house. If something is found, they will take your computer(s), and guns and ammo, and then starts the legal costs... all because of a pissed-off neighbor. Document things and if something happens, go to the police and at least there is a record of things at that point.

All some one has to do is tell the State Police that you have an illegal "machine gun" and you will have the state police and feds all over you regardless of whether or not you do. It is just the way it is with complaints with full auto firearms. Best thing to do is try to maintain reasonably good relations with neighbors and don't show people your guns except when you shoot them.

HankB
August 17, 2006, 09:41 AM
If you're really concerned consult an attorney. He may advise something like a restraining order.

RO's are often ignored and not enforced, but it at least documents you as the injured party.

mike101
August 17, 2006, 09:46 AM
There are too many people making excuses for this kid. If he was just trying to run you off the road, that's one thing. I'd still go after him. But, you were with your wife and child. An example should be made of people who would even look like they intend to hurt your family.

This advice about maintaining good relations with your neighbors is too little too late. This kid and his Dad have crossed way over the line. This is exactly the kind of thing which should involve the police. That's what they're for.

The advice about keeping quiet about your guns is worthwhile. I'm sure, from now on, you will.

BSlacker
August 17, 2006, 10:32 AM
In police jargon there are words like RP (reporting party, responsible party). That is the person who calls first. Perp is for the other person. Be an RP, call first. RP/Perp is big in the police world and that is where this kid needs to be, in the police view. Your local police/sherrif, whatever, has an RMS system where they store this kind of info on incidents/calls, in the future it will be checked before any call outs at his place or yours. You want it to reflect you as being the RP first time and everytime. Bring this little kid to their attention now could save you a bunch of trouble later just for the cost/time of a simple phone call. Get his vehicle tag number in the system now and when he gets pulled over for traffic, and you know he will, the officer will know what he is dealing with right away. You are doing LE a favor.
Running someone through system is the worse punishment you can do to them. It last forever unlike the whipping you would like to give him that will be forgot in a week. When we had trouble with the local kids I put up an extensive low light video system (5 camera). My son and I IDed them and found out their hanging hiding spots. This took over a year of watching them doing small things. When one of the gang of five as we called them vandalized my yard lighting I was able to catch him on video and to freak him out by meeting him at is hiding place after and taking flash pictures. He confessed and cleared up some recent vandalism in the hood. He is on probation and getting the help he needs. Get the back door number for your local agency and put it on speed dial. You need to get serious. Forget the nicecy neighbor stuff this guy is a creep. The father is responsible for this kids attitude.
As to the neighbor turning you in for "machine guns" man if you ain't married don't show them the evil looking stuff unless they have more evil than you do then it is ok. I've been married 35 years and my wife hasn't seen in one of my safe ever. Folks that I don't have a personal relationship with or don't own lots of guns get no info beyond, yes I have guns, much less a look at the guns. But I don't think it is as easy as making a call. The RP will need some specific info to get them to do much more than a phone call. They get this type of call so often I doubt they could kick in every door at 3am without some problems arising. You need your "papers" in order anyway when you have this type of weapon. It could be and ok gun project anyway. The feds are not going to kick in your door over the ranting of a disgruntled neighbor. They will check local RMS and see you as the RP and him as the creep. ;)
Keep a camera near by the kid will be back. :)

ORAG
August 17, 2006, 10:51 AM
Why in god's name would anyone ever ask the ATF, BATF or any agency into their home to pre-empt some one else's action. Get your name on one of their lists and for ever be subject of all computer searches in every case from small to large. Not only that, they just might think that we all want pre-emptive visits.
I once had a person tell me that I should keep a copy of everything one of my boss's told me to do. I said I have just enough time to do my job well and being paranoid just took too much time. At the age of 50 I was given an early retirement as punishment. My health has never been better. My boss died of a heart attack three years ago.

carterbeauford
August 17, 2006, 10:55 AM
I fired a guy the other day and he said he was going to call the feds on me because it is illegal to carry a gun in a truck.

They haven't showed up yet.

Moral of the story: until they show up, I wouldn't be too worried if you don't have anything illegal.

mike101
August 17, 2006, 11:23 AM
BSlacker sounds like he might be a cop. Listen to him.

Kentak
August 17, 2006, 11:39 AM
My instinct would be to tell you not to call the ATF, as his threat may only be a bluff, and why bring their attention to yourself? If he does contact them, my only fear would be that they take him seriously--he being a pillar of the community and a politically connected type and all--and making a midnight raid on your place, a la Waco, TX. If that happens, don't be a Branch Davidian and reach for the guns. It's a no win situation. Instruct your family to be compliant, let the f'ers check your weapons (you do have the paperwork, right?) and then go about moving away from this asshat.

K

Molon Labe
August 17, 2006, 07:26 PM
Do NOT call the ATF. Do NOT invite the ATF into your home for an "inspection." The ATF is a thoroughly untrustworthy organization. Why would you invite such clowns into your home?

My advice? Do nothing. But if an ATF agent comes-a-knock'n (which I highly doubt will happen), do NOT invite him into your house, and do NOT show him any of your weapons. If he requests to see your weapons, politely tell him he needs to get a search warrant. Then politely tell him to get off your property ASAP, else you're calling the police.

50 Freak
August 17, 2006, 07:50 PM
Do not invite any LE into the home without a warrant. Even though you may think you have nothing illegal, something may come up due to all the laws you may not even know you are breaking.

Personally if it was me, I'd move anything evil looking far away from the house. Get your sister to open a secure storage unit and move everything there. Have no ammo, powder, guns other than your 10/22 and maybe a shotgun in the house. Do this for about a year just to make sure this passes. Trust me, the hundred or two you spend for storage is cheaper than the 5-10 years in jail if the ATF finds something "questionable".

Gunfire
August 17, 2006, 09:19 PM
BSlacker:
The feds are not going to kick in your door over the ranting of a disgruntled neighbor. They will check local RMS and see you as the RP and him as the creep. Keep a camera near by the kid will be back.

Good advice from BSlacker. Get your own video system if you can otherwise just have a handheld video readily available at all times. Having him on video tailgating you with the wife and child in the vehicle, is powerful evidence. Make a police report about this incident and report any others that happen however small they seem. Keep your own logbook detailing incidents. Put up a "no trespassing" sign. Don't ever say anything else to them, it's all business now. If they try to twist it around on you and make you out to be the aggressor with a restraining order, GET A LAWYER. An RO can bar your possession of firearms for life thanks to the lautenberg act.

Gunfire
August 17, 2006, 09:26 PM
Personally if it was me, I'd move anything evil looking far away from the house. Get your sister to open a secure storage unit and move everything there. Have no ammo, powder, guns other than your 10/22 and maybe a shotgun in the house. Do this for about a year just to make sure this passes. Trust me, the hundred or two you spend for storage is cheaper than the 5-10 years in jail if the ATF finds something "questionable".

Moving your stuff looks like you really do have something to hide. Just go about your business like you're on top of the world.

hillbilly
August 17, 2006, 09:33 PM
The ATF threat is just that....an empty threat.

The idiotic teenager isn't an empty threat.

Begin documenting every single thing NOW.

Every time this little punk acts in a threatening manner (i.e. tailgating you and your wife and kids too closely) you should immediately report it to the local police.

Idiotic teens who have a sense of invincibility and who think that they cannot and will not be called to task by their parents are not just idiots, they are dangerous.

Document. Report. Create a paper trail so if the day comes that you are forced to do something to protect yourself and your family, there is corroborating evidence.

hillbilly

Frog48
August 17, 2006, 09:47 PM
Could I possibly "pre-empt" him and voluntarily have the ATF come and "clear" or "certify" my collection?

That sounds like a really, really, really bad idea.

I seriously doubt that they'll look over them, right then and there. I'd bet that they'd want to take them to their office for "examination", and you'd probably never see them again, despite the firearms being totally legal.

refrey
August 18, 2006, 12:01 AM
You need to avoid all contact with this man and his family. If he tells a judge he feels threatened by you, it is very easy for him to obtain a restraining order requiring you to stay away from his family. Here in Hawaii, that will result in a visit from the Police Department to collect all your firearms, which they will hold for you until the restraining order expires. It may be different where you live, but tread carefully.

carpettbaggerr
August 18, 2006, 12:35 AM
Trust me, the hundred or two you spend for storage is cheaper than the 5-10 years in jail if the ATF finds something "questionable".If the ATF wants too look for something, I'm pretty sure they'll find any storage units you're using. Even if your sister rents them for you.

Also, I wouldn't leave anything as valuable as a gun in a storage locker. I'd worry about break-ins. And fires can be common, especially in the cheaper units....

As to the kid, you should have called the cops. Keep a cell phone with you, and call the cops if he tries to play games with you. A felony traffic stop would almost certainly change his behavior.:)

Gunfire
August 18, 2006, 02:05 AM
which they will hold for you until the restraining order expires.

"Until further order of the court". never expires. In 1 year, in 3 or 5 or 10 years they won't rehear the case to see it was really a bunch of made up exagerations. Why would they dismiss it against the wishes of the petitioner? They won't.

"Until further order of the court" is the most common judgement down here anyway. Alot of people think they know about ro's but alot has changed since 1997, the lautenberg debacle. Another way to disarm innocent Americans.:fire:

Check out your public records on line if you can. Look up all the ro's and the actions taken. "Until further order of the court" is the order of the day.

mike101
August 18, 2006, 05:39 AM
DO NOT invite the Feds into your home.
DO NOT invite the police into your home.
You go to them (police).

If this kid is old enough to drive, he's old enough to be tried as an adult. If he's 18, he IS an adult. You need to file a complaint ASAP. You then might want to get a restraining order against him, before Daddy gets one against you.

Is this kid old enough to buy a gun? Maybe he has one already.

I must say, I admire your self-control. If anyone threatened my wife and kids like that, I would go absolutely ballistic (Italian Temper, inherited from my mom).

You are "DAD". Your family looks to you for protection. It's your job. Part of being "DAD". So, protect them. File a complaint, before they file one against you. Strike first. That, I think, is the best way to protect your family.

buck00
August 18, 2006, 10:49 AM
3. learn to de-escalate situations. you deserve what you get after stopping like that.

Possenti, don't listen to this ignorant "you deserved it" comment. In a situation like that (where you knew it was the neighbor's son) if you had simply accepted the tailgating, you would have appeared weak both to the perp and your family. This would have totally encouraged him to be more bold and escalate things next time. A verbal confrontation was a valid response. If you don't confront threatening or negative behavior, why would you expect it to stop on its own? There once was a time when people could confront the neighborhood kids when they were up to no good, without people whining about political correctness or legalism.

I do agree that in the future you should call 911 to document what he does. Don't worry, punks like that who were never disciplined by their parents end up falling hard. And when he eventually falls, it will cause plenty of headaches and pain for his dear Daddy.

As far as the ATF situation, I'd contact a lawyer.

Malum Prohibitum
August 18, 2006, 01:52 PM
If he accused you of a crime to two other people, that is defamation. Sue him.

Gunfire
August 18, 2006, 02:59 PM
If he accused you of a crime to two other people, that is defamation. Sue him.

He's right. You would not need to prove monetary damages as in most other civil suits. It is called defamation per se. You would need to prove what he said was false though. Have a lawyer send him a friendly $250 letter. It probably wouldn't do much good because most people think anything is free speech but it might remind him to mind his own business.

rangermonroe
August 18, 2006, 04:31 PM
I think, but then I was not there.

I like the idea of a letter from a lawyer. Personnaly, that crap scares me. If your neighbor is a hillbilly hick type, it will probably scare him as well.

If he is a debutante surbabanite with jewish relatives, you might be better to look for other means of "intimidation" :rolleyes: .

I don't know how quick I would be to load the guns into a storage shed. Family members...outta sight.

"Hi, MIL, I being the dutiful SIL that I am, would like to check you chimney for potential Carbon Monoxide leaks that I read about on the internet last night...Going to the store? ....I'll just satisfy myself that your safe while you're gone...no, no problem at all...anything I can do...you're not so bad either"

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