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ATF called me today.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Clint C, Mar 28, 2011.

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  1. Clint C

    Clint C Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. Clint C

    Clint C Well-Known Member

    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!
  3. wishin

    wishin Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. memphisjim

    memphisjim Well-Known Member

    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
  5. brboyer

    brboyer Well-Known Member

    How did you verify that the person that called you was actually an ATF agent?
  6. Magoo

    Magoo Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. Toforo

    Toforo Well-Known Member

    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
  8. ants

    ants Well-Known Member

    Maybe ATf calls first to make sure Clint is the seller, then makes an appt with him.

    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.
  9. Magoo

    Magoo Well-Known Member

    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?
  10. seed

    seed Well-Known Member

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

    Toforo Well-Known Member

    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.....
  12. TH3180

    TH3180 Well-Known Member

  13. Toforo

    Toforo Well-Known Member

    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)
  14. Clint C

    Clint C Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Cearbhall

    Cearbhall Well-Known Member

    Talk to a lawer. Now, not later.
  18. ElvinWarrior

    ElvinWarrior Well-Known Member

    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.


    ElvinWarrior... aka... David
  19. parsimonious_instead

    parsimonious_instead Well-Known Member

    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"
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  20. Powderman

    Powderman Well-Known Member

    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.
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