ATF asks dealers to keep records of powder sales, from latest Gun Week.


August 16, 2004, 07:37 PM
Thoughts on the above mentioned.


First a general comment. Seems to me that there is one hell of a rotten smell in/about this latest ATF ploy.

Secondly, while I suppose one could produce an "explosive device" maybe, with smokeless powder, using BLACK POWDER would make more sense, though not much in the way of a Bang for One's Buck Would Be Obtained. Prospective "Bomb Makers" could readily do a whole lot better with ANFO, while spending less money also.

Thirdly, mention is made of "small quantities", which I've heard before. I've always wondered what the term might mean, SMALL QUANTITIES that is. Might this get to be another one of those odd things, akin to that SPORTING PURPOSES business, which so far as I know, has NEVER been defined.

Back when I was shooting in rifle competition, National Match Course, I used to purchase 4895 and 4350 in 8 pound containers at least, and 20 pound kegs, when I could find them. It was cheaper, quite a bit cheaper than buying powder in 1 pound cans, and one got the benefit of consistency, reducing lot to lot variation in the propellant.

Finally, doesn't the dealer already have to do enough record keeping? Seems to me that he/she/they do, perhaps to much at that, but what do I know? Anyhow, this latest from the good old boys down there at ATF should be quickly sent to that place where all the other silly ideas end up. The less heard of such foolishness, the better.

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August 16, 2004, 07:52 PM
Looks like someone read a different letter than i got...

August 17, 2004, 12:54 AM
c_yeager wrote:
Senior Member

Looks like someone read a different letter than i got...

What letter do you make reference to. My comment, actually a Letter To The Editor at Gun Week, is based on an article appearing in the current issue, which I got yesterday.

August 17, 2004, 04:07 AM
Here are some threads about the letter ATF sent out asking for people to report suspicious activity regarding gun powder sales:

Nothing nefarious about asking people to help out, and those people can always decline to participate.

Art Eatman
August 17, 2004, 09:55 AM
If you sell reloading supplies, suppose some guy comes in and shows no background knowledge of reloading. He asks questions along the order of, "What powder is the most powerful?" and other non-reloading-oriented questions. Would you have no suspicions whatsoever? This is for sure just some Dickie Dumbutt off the street, merely idly curious?

This guy needn't be some Islamic terrorist; he could just as well be Norman Nutzoid, ready to go for his 15 minutes of fame.

This is not the same thing as some guy asking about the comparison of 4064 and H414, to reload for his '06.


August 17, 2004, 10:08 AM
I guess maybe I escape my office and spend too much time at the gun store to hangout, but I have heard similar questions as you posted.

There was one guy who came in and talked about how powerfull smokeless powder was and such things. The owner never saw him before. We disscussed it and let it go.
Turns out the guy came back in a couple of weeks later and dropped about a grand on a reloader and supplies. Turns out he knew nothing about reloading and was just asking questions in his mind he thought was right.

Ignorance is not a sign of guilt.

Art Eatman
August 17, 2004, 10:24 AM
fth: Yeah, I fully agree. But, that doesn't mean one should just ignore the guy and forget about him. At the same time, I'm not saying he oughta be reported instantly, or anything like that.

I dunno. With such questions as I mentioned, absent some specific references to cartridges/calibers, etc., I might well pay more attention to physical description, dress, mannerisms...Probably, the farthest I'd go on vague suspicions would be to write down the make, model and license plate number of his vehicle...

I sure never would believe that "one size fits all", or that the whole idea isn't complex. Lord knows, I've seen and heard a lot of weird stuff when I had a gunshow table...

:), Art

August 17, 2004, 10:29 AM
Your right.

Our lives are complicated enough without trying to determine who might be a mad bomber or not.

August 17, 2004, 11:00 AM

While I might be overly suspicious, based on THE PAST PERFORMANCES AND DOCUMENTED RECORDS concerning the actions, antics or whatever you might choose to call them of BATF(E) and the mobs that came before the current aggregation, I tend to look on anything that comes from them with significant suspicion.

By the way, notwithstanding the foregoing, I would readilly allow that the above described situatioin is more than a little sad, however my thinking is derived from the antics of the agency(s) involved.

One final point, as of now, which is that mention of "drivers licenses", photo id, I read through the two letters mentioned in another post, will a demand for your "sosch" be far behind, regarding the purchase of propellants, which is what "gun powder" essentially is. I've lived in 20 some odd states, and I do not recall ever having been asked to display ANY form of identification when purchasing "gun powder".

As for the ATF itself, there are quite likely some really fine people working there. There are also some really problematic types, and it is these last that seemingly make policy, and or "run the show", and that Virginia is, as I see it, the heart of the problem. The record of the ATF is the record that they created for themselves, by themselves.

Art Eatman
August 17, 2004, 05:54 PM
I don't doubt that somebody in Congress will introduce a bill to require registration of gunpowder. They've tried similar stuff in the past. After the Oklahoma City bombing, there was some mumbling about registering the sale of fertilizer to farmers...

If I were truly suspicious of some "customer", I wouldn't bother with ATF. I'd call some local LEO, if at all practical...

If I were in the gunstore or dynamite bidness, I'd make a point of knowing some local-office agents of any pertinent alphabet agencies. Seems like common sense, to me. I dunno. If some agent comes across to me as Terry the Total Turnoff, I'd probably never bother to call. Dunno.

This ain't the world I thought I grew up in. Then again, it probably never was...


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