ATF called me today.


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Clint C
March 28, 2011, 09:04 PM
I had the ATF call me today and ask me about a rifle that was once mine. They asked me how I thought it got into the hands of a certain person. I told them I sold it to a person and gave them the persons name. Evidently this person was a felon or is a felon now that had bought the rifle from me. I had sold it to him almost two years ago. I had also traded firearms with him after the first one and they would like to look at the firearms I have from him as they might be stolen. I am meeting with them tomorrow to give them all the information I have, printed off the emails I have and plan to give them the paper work.
Really got my heart beating when he told me he was with the ATF on the phone, almost thought a friend was messing with me.
I talked to the local police and they told me I had done nothing wrong and shouldn't worry about being in trouble. Still has me a bit nervous.
Anyone else ever had to deal with this and what was your experience?

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Clint C
March 28, 2011, 09:06 PM
I told the agent I had contacted the guy about a shotgun that he had posted for sale, the guy told me all his guns were gone and he had switched hobbies.

The agent said yeah all his guns are gone because I kicked in his front door and took them from him!

wishin
March 28, 2011, 09:17 PM
Bummer! You can't be too careful though. Why couldn't you fax them the serial numbers? Be sure to check their credentials. If all is kosher and any of the weapons you got from him are stolen, you'll be on the losing end without compensation.

memphisjim
March 28, 2011, 09:23 PM
not the atf but i once got a call from a shefiff in another city asking if i had sold so and so a gun (which i had) i told him yes i guess he could tell the question put the fear in me and he told me not to worry the person had just brandished it and had no permit
never heard another thing from it

brboyer
March 28, 2011, 09:39 PM
How did you verify that the person that called you was actually an ATF agent?

Magoo
March 28, 2011, 09:45 PM
Jeez. Sorry for your predicament.

I'd be trying to gather as much documentation I had for any and all gun purchases/sales I had available. Not legal advice, and not necessarily High Road, but I might also try to sell some of my firearms to some understanding friends ASAP. I'd do a bill of sale for those, but might not be able to find them very easily. Something along the lines of "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission". I absolutely do not encourage or condone breaking or twisting, of the law, but don't put yourself at an unneccesary disadvantage either. Heck, loaning firearms "for sporting purposes" is generally legal. I wouldn't want any of my firearms present when the ATF comes a-callin'.

Best of luck.

Toforo
March 28, 2011, 09:58 PM
How did you verify that the person that called you was actually an ATF agent?
Yup - that.
And vice-versa, how does an ATF agent verify that he's actually speaking with the person he's intending to? And how did he get the number?

There's a REASON they (ATF) do things "in person" - live, and face-to-face

ants
March 28, 2011, 10:16 PM
And Clint said that the face-to-face appointment is now set up. Good.

I'm not a government agent (I wouldn't last one day!!!) but if I was an agent I would call first to make sure Clint is the right guy, then set up an appointment with him. It sounds like that's what happened. That part doesn't seem unusual.


The part that made me think was telling the man on the phone too much info. Like the part about all the other guns I bought/sold to the man they're investigating. I think I would only answer their questions strictly and briefly, then make an appointment to sit down at their office (not my home). There is nothing dishonorable in being cooperative with a bonafide investigation, just keep it strictly business.

Magoo
March 28, 2011, 10:17 PM
To Toforo: Not trying to be antagonistic, but do you think the proper time to get your ducks in a row is when the ATF is at your front door with an all too convincing show of force and abundance of badges?

seed
March 28, 2011, 10:22 PM
Reschedule and call a lawyer. Do not talk to them...let your lawyer handle it.

Toforo
March 28, 2011, 11:34 PM
And Clint said that the face-to-face appointment is now set up. Good.

I'm not a government agent (I wouldn't last one day!!!) but if I was an agent I would call first to make sure Clint is the right guy, then set up an appointment with him. It sounds like that's what happened. That part doesn't seem unusual.


The part that made me think was telling the man on the phone too much info. Like the part about all the other guns I bought/sold to the man they're investigating. I think I would only answer their questions strictly and briefly, then make an appointment to sit down at their office (not my home). There is nothing dishonorable in being cooperative with a bonafide investigation, just keep it strictly business.
YUP - that... EXACTLY.

They carry identification cards for a reason - and would ask the person they are interviewing the same in return.... not to mention "RIGHTS"

There would NOT be a lot of information exchanged over the phone other than a courtesy request to meet - and THAT'S what it would be - a courtesy, not a requirement

In fact, it would have to be some pretty peculiar circumstances for the ATF to be involved at all.....

TH3180
March 28, 2011, 11:37 PM
Reschedule and call a lawyer. Do not talk to them...let your lawyer handle it.
Why?

Toforo
March 28, 2011, 11:50 PM
Jeez. Sorry for your predicament.

I'd be trying to gather as much documentation I had for any and all gun purchases/sales I had available. Not legal advice, and not necessarily High Road, but I might also try to sell some of my firearms to some understanding friends ASAP. I'd do a bill of sale for those, but might not be able to find them very easily. Something along the lines of "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission". I absolutely do not encourage or condone breaking or twisting, of the law, but don't put yourself at an unneccesary disadvantage either. Heck, loaning firearms "for sporting purposes" is generally legal. I wouldn't want any of my firearms present when the ATF comes a-callin'.

Best of luck.
Magoo - I don't think you're being "antagonistic"

But - it's not up for debate (with me anyway) - we're talking privacy, rights, and processes......

An ATF agent isn't going to "jeapordize" an investigation by doing something wrong - especially if there's the possibility of something being cross/multi-jurisdictional

I stay away from "legal advice" for the same reasons - there are professionals for that. Ducks, yada yada yada....

(there was a NEAR duplicate thread last week regarding an ATF agent that called some guys CELLPHONE out of the blue... about a privately owned handgun sold 17 years earlier... We never got the an answer to the asked question of how the ATF got the guy's cellphone number)

Clint C
March 29, 2011, 12:35 AM
Well, I have nothing to hide, I am meeting them at my work, we have cameras there, I have the agents cell number. I didn't give out any serial numbers over the phone, he had no idea I had traded the guy firearms till I told him, and if they are stolen I don't want them. I wont let them take them if I don't think they are legit.

The only thing he wanted to know is how my rifle came into the guys posession, him and his partner are coming out to take notes, I have all the emails printed off to give them. I will ask for identification.

From now on though, any firearms that get sold will be to people with permits to purchase or I might just not sell any anymore.

Thanks for the input you all.

GRIZ22
March 29, 2011, 01:23 AM
Bummer! You can't be too careful though. Why couldn't you fax them the serial numbers? Be sure to check their credentials. If all is kosher and any of the weapons you got from him are stolen, you'll be on the losing end without compensation.


The agents would want to see the guns not just be read serials numbers. They will start off showing their ID and badge so that's not an issue. Yeah if any of the weapons are stolen you'll be out without compensation as you would anyway if the serial numbers were run at some time. I'd rather get rid of stolen guns I may unknowingly have as I'm sure any of us would.

Reschedule and call a lawyer. Do not talk to them...let your lawyer handle it.

If Clint was the target of an investigation I guarantee the agents wouldn't be giving him a heads up. People seem to think the nswer to any LE encounter is to lawyer up. As long as the conversation is about the guns sold to or acquired from the felon I see no reason to lawyer up.

Deanimator
March 29, 2011, 05:42 AM
Why?
The BATFE has a decades long problem with truthfulness and integrity.

They once made an official training video on how to lie under oath.

I wouldn't talk to representatives of an agency that did that without benefit of legal counsel.

Cearbhall
March 29, 2011, 06:19 AM
Talk to a lawer. Now, not later.

ElvinWarrior
March 29, 2011, 06:22 AM
Another case of a government beauroucrat making a profession out of a simple clerks job.

They already know the guy bought the guns from another private party, no mystery there, but they are still asking the question... "How did he acquire the gun".

They already know, he has done business with you on several occassions, but, they want to talk to you to verify that.

My advice to you is to not volunteer any further information to them at all. Answer all direct questions, certainly, add in no additional information whatsoever. This is not being evasive, it is being smart, given half a chance these guys can attempt to claim that there was an ongoing relationship between you, and this other person, with you deliberately and knowingly selling firearms to a person prohibited from owning them... A messy allegation at best.

Sincerely,

ElvinWarrior... aka... David

parsimonious_instead
March 29, 2011, 06:46 AM
A very good reason for getting a lawyer involved is this: what if as this agent is questioning you, you innocently say something that contradicts a previous statement you've made?
Now, you've "lied to a federal investigator" and even though you've done something wrong in the realm of firearms, now they have something to nail you with.
Do a YouTube search for "dont talk to the cops" to hear an excellent, articulate and entertaining talk from a law professor about why it's so important to clam up and get an attorney, even when you're innocent of any wrongdoing.
The man's name is James Duane, and he does an amazing job of deconstructing why the "if I have done nothing wrong, I have nothing to worry about"
sentiment.

Powderman
March 29, 2011, 06:57 AM
Oh, for heaven's sake, folks! Relax!

To help you with some of the concerns noted here...

1. If you're worried about these guy's identity, ask them to show you some creds. You should be looking at a badge and a commissioning card. If there is any further doubt, call your local ATF Enforcement office; that's where the guys would be from.

2. If they're calling you about some specific guns, they might be doing a "forward trace" as part of a criminal investigation. YOU are not under the spotlight--otherwise you would be hearing a Miranda warning.

3. The fact that they agreed to meet you in a neutral location shows that they are in the information gathering mode, and not the PEOPLE gathering mode.

4. Finally, understand that the guys you are talking to have a job to do, just like you and me. Talk to them like normal Joes or Janes, the job is hard enough in the first place. Who knows? You might actually find that there are some pretty nice folks behind those A, T, and F letters.

Shadow 7D
March 29, 2011, 07:08 AM
Um, yer wrong on a number of counts..

The Miranda warning, is only once you are in custody or interrogation, some guys will never get it, as the cops don't feel the need to ask them questions, it ain't like TV or the movies.

they will meet a guy anywhere, and also arrest a guy anywhere so...

the proper response would be, so what is your name, number etc. Ok, I will call my ATF office, hope you pick up, if not I hope they confirm your existence.

Nice guy, yep same nice guys who made it a policy to sell guns to the MEXICAN CARTELS, guess the guys in the tracing department can view that as job security.....

OldMac
March 29, 2011, 07:14 AM
The advise about not volunteering additional information is legit. Answer all direct questions truthfully and nothing more. That is just smart, concise, and best for both sides of the interview. An attorney may indicate that you believe something is wrong but it will protect you anyway. Remember Martha Stewart spent time for lying during an interview when no crime had been committed and there was no reason for the interview or the lie. Trying to outsmart them with a lie can turn a perfectly legal situation into fun with bubba.

Powderman
March 29, 2011, 07:15 AM
The Miranda warning, is only once you are in custody or interrogation, some guys will never get it, as the cops don't feel the need to ask them questions, it ain't like TV or the movies.



The Miranda v. Arizona admonishment is given whenever a person becomes the focus of an investigation into a criminal act; or, when a community contact turns into an investigative detention (see Terry v. Ohio). The point where the contact turns into a detention is when a reasonable person no longer feels free to leave.

they will meet a guy anywhere, and also arrest a guy anywhere so...


True. But if they know where the OP lives, why not have an arrest warrant taken, based on probable cause and presented to a judge, and then go arrest him without warning him with a phone call?

As for "Operation Gunrunner" be assured that this fiasco was grown in the fertile minds of bureaucrats; NOT the street Agents who actually hit the pavement.

ObsidianOne
March 29, 2011, 07:38 AM
Wonder how it went...

Bubba613
March 29, 2011, 07:53 AM
Wow real paranoia.
Generally speaking appearing at least to be helpful to ATF is a good strategy. If you shut up and demand a lawyer you look like a criminal to them. That's bad.
Let's consider that the ATF is trying to put a bad guy in jail. Who wouldn't want to help with that?

lizziedog1
March 29, 2011, 08:19 AM
I have never been arrested. Other then some minor traffic violations, I have never broken the law. But if I am ever going to be questioned by any LEO of any type, it will be through a lawyer. I don't like lawyers, but I don't like government agencies even more.

jimmyraythomason
March 29, 2011, 08:23 AM
The agent said yeah all his guns are gone because I kicked in his front door and took them from him! Scary!

rooter
March 29, 2011, 08:46 AM
Lawyers are usually for guilty people.

rromeo
March 29, 2011, 09:02 AM
Lawyers are usually for guilty people.
The ATF usually doesn't care if somebody is guilty or not. They'll make you guilty if they want.

Yo Mama
March 29, 2011, 09:27 AM
Lawyers are usually for guilty people.

No, they are for smart people.

Clint C
March 29, 2011, 09:42 AM
Guys calm down, I've done nothing wrong. I haven't met with them yet.

Bubba613
March 29, 2011, 09:44 AM
The ATF usually doesn't care if somebody is guilty or not. They'll make you guilty if they want.
Proof?

sellmarkguy
March 29, 2011, 09:50 AM
You might actually find that there are some pretty nice folks behind those A, T, and F letters.
I don't buy it.
Talk with an attorney first. Don't be a 'do-gooder'.
They feed off of this.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 29, 2011, 10:23 AM
Removed.

Clint C
March 29, 2011, 10:48 AM
Don't know if it counts for anything, but they have told me I'm not in trouble.

Cop Bob
March 29, 2011, 11:02 AM
When I had my Gun Shop many years ago, I never heard or saw ATF.. I just mailed in the required paperwork.

Then we got a Class III License.. and I saw them every 6 months... and they crawled up our butts with a microscope every time... all cordial and business like.

I recently had a pistol stolen, after about 1 year, I get a call from ATF. They asked me about my pistol, Gave them all the info and the case number from when I reported it stolen.

They then informed me that it had been recovered, was in their possession. My Immediate response was KOOL! When can I get it back? They responded that it may be up to a year... OUCH, Why, they were holding it to check if it had been involved in other crimes.. OooohhKay...

I got a call from the same agent about 3 months later, he asked me when we could meet and that they would return my pistol to me... Allrighty Now!!

After a week of phone tag and scheduling issues, we finally met up, they returned my pistol, along with an apology for taking so long. They stated that I had been confiscated in a drug raid on a Mexican Nationals home with suspected cartel ties.. they had held onto it waiting for ballistics trace to see if involved with other crimes. They could not have been nicer...

When I told them that I really appreciated it, and that this particular firearm was one that I had carried on duty for about 10 years, they said, Yeah, we know.. they had REALLY done their homework.. When I mentioned ,"well the mags empty, I guess either the crooks shot it up, or your lab needed the rounds for ballistic comparison" they chuckled and said "Probably so" then went to the trunk of their car and handed me a box of 40cal... Then Said,"use them in good health" what a great bunch of guys...


NOW Clint... from nearly 30 years on LE Experience,,,,, Co-operate, be friendly and cordial, above all be truthful.. REMEMBER POCKET RECORDERS ARE YOUR FRIEND.. IT MAY BE YOUR ONLY WITNESS AS TO WHAT ACTUALLY TRANSPIRED. and you do not have to tell them that you have one or you are recording the interview....

If they spot it and ask you why, "it is for my own records", and if they tell you to turn it off... I would say that I have nothing to hide, none of us should fear what is about to take place here.. if they still don't like it and demand that it be turned off, POLITELY state: Well for this reason, and this reason alone, I know and understand my Fifth Amendment Rights and this interview is over".

If at any time, their demeanor changes and becomes accusatory, or demeaning.. or for Gods Sake it they read you your rights... simply reply "I KNOW AND UNDERSTAND MY RIGHTS, AND THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER. I WILL ENTERTAIN NO OTHER QUESTIONS OR STATEMENTS WITH OUT MY ATTORNEY PRESENT...

If you wait until after the interview to seek the advise of counsel, you have waited too long

Good luck, I see nothing that you should be overly concerned with...

geigersd
March 29, 2011, 11:03 AM
From now on though, any firearms that get sold will be to people with permits to purchase or I might just not sell any anymore.[/I]

Your original post did not indicate whether he had a permit when you sold him the weapon. Are these permits required in your state?

Even though you "have nothing to hide", don't be naive about taking legal advice from your local police. If there is a law you broke, even without you knowing it, you butt will be nailed to the wall right next to his!

gatorjames85
March 29, 2011, 11:04 AM
Lawyers are usually for guilty people.
In law school, a former federal prosecutor quoted a federal judge as saying (while giving a speech to law students/lawyers) that every one there will commit a federal felony by the time they go home. Also, no one is really sure how many federal felonies exist, because many depend on regulations that are constantly in flux. In other words, we are likely all guilty of something at one time or another that could send us to federal prison. Federal law enforcement determines who the bad guys are (their opinion) and then gets them by any means necessary.

Don't know if it counts for anything, but they have told me I'm not in trouble.
It doesn't count for anything. Law enforcement is allowed to and commonly does lie to targets of an investigation.

Clint C
March 29, 2011, 11:16 AM
No permit required to sell a rifle or shotgun private in the state of Iowa. The rifle I sold is a 17hmr. I am good friends with the local police, they would have let me know what to do.

Cop Bob
March 29, 2011, 11:22 AM
And the Feds are another all together...

They often play by their own set of rules... just be careful... I don't think that you have anything to really worry about, but you never know...

A few minutes with an attorney well versed in Federal Statues may be the best investment you ever make... Information is ammunition.

Guillermo
March 29, 2011, 11:25 AM
never ever talk to the ATF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

rajb123
March 29, 2011, 11:35 AM
I would NEVER assume that someone that called you on the telephone is an ATF rep or not; you simply have know way of knowing. You would not give a person calling you on the telephone your SS # if they told you they were from the SS Administration; right?

If you received stolen property you are not entitiled to keep it, however.

At this point, I would talk to an attorney.

Cop Bob
March 29, 2011, 11:44 AM
Guillermo
Member


Join Date: February 20, 2008
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 3,210

never ever talk to the ATF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik


Guillermo, that is a GREAT Series, to all who watch, be sure and trace all of it down, there are 3 or 4 parts to it if memory serves...

hirundo82
March 29, 2011, 11:44 AM
Lawyers are usually for guilty people.
Yeah, and the only reason you'd refuse an officer permission to search your car is because you have something to hide. :rolleyes:

Seriously, gatorjames85 is right--our society has become so overcriminalized, especially federally, that you never know know if you are or are not committing a crime. Especially in dealing with the feds, it is only prudent to seek an attorney's guidance.

Guillermo
March 29, 2011, 12:18 PM
there are 3 or 4 parts to it if memory serves

it is two part

the second part is a cop telling you not to talk to cops

george357
March 29, 2011, 12:41 PM
The only dealings I have had with ATF are in relation to my FFL application and questions I have had since receiving my license. All the contact I have had has been great, I really think that there is too much paranoia concerning a simple trace procedure.

essayons21
March 29, 2011, 12:41 PM
Clint, while I'm not on the side of those telling you to clam up until you get a lawyer, you should really watch both parts of the video posted by Guillermo. It contains some pretty eye-opening info for anyone about to have an interaction with law enforcement.

One of the reasons the ATF wants to meet with you and check your firearms is to find out if YOU have any part in any criminal activity.

As we have seen too often, being innocent simply often isn't good enough when dealing with the BATFE. A short chat and possibly an attorney's retainer fee is cheap insurance for what could end up being hundreds of thousands in legal fees to defend yourself against spurious charges.

Whatever route you choose, good luck, and let us know how it goes.

CoRoMo
March 29, 2011, 01:26 PM
You might give this thread by a THR member a read:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...&highlight=ATF
Is Bart's link NOT working for anyone else? Or just me?

gatorjames85
March 29, 2011, 01:30 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,376202,00.html

Good story about the ever expanding number of U.S. criminal laws.

leadcounsel
March 29, 2011, 01:34 PM
Lawyer up. You may not think you need it, but you may inadvertently say something that implicates you in a crime or gives them probable cause for a search and seizure warrant to seize your entire gun collection while they 'investigate' for the next 2 years.

why not have an arrest warrant taken, based on probable cause and presented to a judge

The tactic is to ask you innocent enough questions until they can get probable cause and come back later with a warrant...

Onward Allusion
March 29, 2011, 01:47 PM
Well, I have nothing to hide,LOL! Famous last words! :D

Seriously, it should be no biggie. I guess if the gun was indeed stolen but you have all the paperwork & emails, you will just be out a gun.

rajb123
March 29, 2011, 01:48 PM
Since they could accuse you of an improper firearm sale and a felony, anything you tell them is potentially a problem. I would have asked them why they are calling and I would tell them that I would need to discuss their inquiry with my attorney before answering any of their questions.

You don't even know if you are talking with the ATF or some scam artist that is trying to convince you the gun you received in the transfer is stolen and that he needs to take possession of it ASAP.

If it is the ATF, these guys play by their own rules.

Bartholomew Roberts
March 29, 2011, 02:01 PM
Is Bart's link NOT working for anyone else? Or just me?

My bad. I think that link was removed at the request of the original poster for privacy reasons; but being a former mod, I could still see it.

Short version with names changed to protect the innocent:
He received a call from the ATF, telling him he wasn't in trouble, they were just curious about when he had sold an AR15 lower that turned up in Mexico. They then asked him about some handgun sales he made. He answered the questions, no lawyer present. They said "Thanks for your help. I am going to email you this form. It is no big deal, I just have to do it according to agency regulations."

The form was a notice that he had been instructed to cease and desist in the sale of firearms without an FFL. At that point he lawyered up and indicated to the agent that he would not be signing the form. Last I heard, nothing more happened.

rajb123
March 29, 2011, 03:57 PM
Yeh, you should always cooperate with authorities but do this in a manner that protects yourself from potential danger. I would tell them I will gladly discuss the matter but only after I talk with an attorney. This is just common sence.

Always use your head.

dprice3844444
March 29, 2011, 04:05 PM
call the local atf office for employment verification

TH3180
March 29, 2011, 06:53 PM
This thread went along way today. I'm just wandering how things turned out today.

TH3180
March 29, 2011, 08:22 PM
Wow

gatorjames85
March 29, 2011, 09:42 PM
The job of any LEO agent, in any departamental capacity, is NOT to adjudicate justice, that is what courts, judges, lawyers and juries do.
This is true.

Clint C
March 29, 2011, 10:48 PM
Well all is good, non of the guns I recieved from the guy are stolen so I get to keep them. The ATF agent was a good person, told me I did nothing wrong, I wasn't in trouble, and had some good conversation with the guy.

TH3180
March 29, 2011, 11:12 PM
Well all is good, non of the guns I recieved from the guy are stolen so I get to keep them. The ATF agent was a good person, told me I did nothing wrong, I wasn't in trouble, and had some good conversation with the guy.
From reading this thread I don't see how this could be true. You should be locked up and they are finding a place to hide the key.

Glad it all worked out. I know if it were me I wouldn't have slept a wink last night.

Grey Morel
March 29, 2011, 11:58 PM
Wow real paranoia.

It's not paranoia if people are out to get you. ATF has a long and well documented history of being out to get people.

Glad OP was able to drop off their radar.

Maverick223
March 30, 2011, 12:04 AM
I have met/worked with really bad LEO's, really good LEO's and everyone in between, kind of like people in general.Bingo! Sounds like Clint found (or rather: was found by...) a good one, and like most everything else, I am certain that they get far less publicity/recognition than those that aren't as courteous or honest despite being the majority.

:)

Art Eatman
March 30, 2011, 12:06 AM
See Post #59...

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