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ATF came a-knockin'

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by boofus, Feb 3, 2005.

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  1. boofus

    boofus Guest

    Well not really, but I got a letter from them that basically said I might have broken the 1994 AWB when I ordered a couple of pre-ban magazines from Germany in Jan, 2004. Some other Highroaders have gotten calls from the ATF on threaded barrels from the same outfit. I guess since the magazines were only $50-60 apiece there were no restrictions on importation other than the AWB.

    I called the ATF office and talked with a special agent and told him I made sure to ask the seller if the magazines were manufactured before 1994. Also the magazines in question do not have the Law Enforcement/Military/Govt use only markings.

    The agent said since that was the case not to worry about it, the worst that could happen is I would have to show him the mags to make sure they had no ban markings.

    He did ask me at the very end of the conversation though if I knew of any shady dealings. He said the ATF paid people to squeal, but the NFA crowd I hang out with tends to do everything by the book.

    Hopefully everything is squared away and I won't be Ruby Ridged. :eek:
  2. rock jock

    rock jock Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    In the moment
    Did you tell him to quit reading your brainwaves?
  3. boofus

    boofus Guest

    Yes, ban marked mags are ok to buy now... But not in January 2004 when I got those mags in question. But it shouldn't matter anyway because my mags weren't marked, the seller told me they were pre-bans. They look like pre-bans so I never had any reason to think otherwise.

    Apparently the seller had some shady dealings and was selling restricted items on the 'net and I was unlucky enough to buy some legit stuff from him.
  4. OpenRoad

    OpenRoad member

    Oct 27, 2004
    Even if they were marked, don't they think you could just go out and buy some unmarked ones and claim that's what you got from them?

    Our tax dollars at work.... :rolleyes:
  5. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Why is the ATF trying to enforce a ban that no longer exists?
  6. cslinger

    cslinger Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    They're not or they don't seem to be. They are going after a single exporter and building as much evidence as they can against him. Word is he exported NFA items such as suppressors in addition to other items.

    Now the laws are stupid, especially as far as supressors go but the BATFE gets really really irratable as far as the NFA goes.
  7. Dmack_901

    Dmack_901 Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    Seriously, it is the ATF we're talking about. Do you really think they want us to have guns?
  8. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Member

    Aug 4, 2003
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Dmack_901 wrote: "Seriously, it is the ATF we're talking about. Do you really think they want us to have guns?"

    I have known some BATFE agents who were anti-gun, but also a good many who were pro-gun and NRA members. But they are LAW enforcement agents; that is their job and they have taken an oath to enforce the LAW, not their personal opinions.

    Saying that BAFTE agents who enforce the gun laws don't want us to have guns is a bit like saying cops who hand out speeding tickets don't want us to have cars.

    As for that situation, I think I may have heard of the person in question, and I hope no one on this site would condone some of the stuff he did. The guns definitely went to the "wrong hands", and I don't mean gun hobbyists or petty thieves.

  10. rock jock

    rock jock Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    In the moment
    Jim, thanks for the reasoned response. I think some folks like to promote stereotypes as much as the antis.
  11. jsalcedo

    jsalcedo Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    By Neal Knox

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 1) -- The Oct. 25 BATF raid
    on Jerry Michel's Specialty Firearms in Mesa, Ariz.,
    sounded all too familiar -- as if we had turned
    back the calendar a quarter-century, to the heyday
    of BATF civil liberties abuses under President Jimmy

    "They were throwing vintage collector's items in mint
    condition through the air and into a trashcan 10 feet
    away," Jerry told Angel Shamaya, Director of
    KeepAndBearArms.Com, who has interviewed Jerry and
    other witnesses. One such gun was a Winchester 94
    Antique, a 1960's era new-in-box commemorative, Jerry
    told me.

    "They took it out of the factory box and pitched it
    into a plastic garbage can that had a bunch of my
    other guns in it."

    In the 1970's I heard the same kind of story, from
    several dealers and collectors, including the guy who
    saw his unfired commemoratives thrown onto a concrete
    floor -- and got them back test-fired "to determine
    if they had been used in a crime."

    Jerry's story was a reminder of the importance of
    next week's election, which will be over long before
    most of you read this column. It will determine not
    only who sets the legislative agenda, and who appoints
    the Supreme Court, but it will determine whether, under
    a President Gore, the BATF ratchets up its infringements
    of the law and the Constitution, or a President George
    W. Bush tightens the reins on the Federal gun police.

    Jerry's entire stock of guns, plus his personal collection,
    -- a total of 274 guns, about $300,000 worth -- were taken,
    along with his records and about 3,000 Form 4473's.

    The guns ranged from a .50 caliber rifle to a black powder
    pistol. They included newly customized Ruger 10/22's (some
    belonging to customers), consignment guns, a pair of Colt
    Single Actions, military-look semi-autos and legal full
    autos which Jerry had owned for 15 years.

    The Colt Single Actions, with mother-of-pearl grips, were
    among those taken from their boxes and casually tossed into
    the garbage cans.

    BATF found three Berettas with no serial numbers. Except
    they were Brownings with serial numbers under the grips.

    The raid started with Jerry being enticed out of the shop
    -- which doubles as his residence -- just a few minutes
    after he opened. He was grabbed and held by three of
    some 30 state and Federal officers. The two guns that
    he routinely carries in the shop were taken from him
    (though they had to let one arm free so he could show
    them how to get a Freedom Arms .22 out of its belt buckle

    As stunned as he was, he broke out laughing when he saw
    the swarm of officers. "You must really think I'm
    dangerous," he told them.

    The two guns he was carrying were the only ones he was
    allowed to keep. Other personal guns -- including the
    full autos and guns he had owned since he was 10 --
    clearly marked as not for sale, were carted away.

    What happened inside the store was videotaped by a
    surveillance camera. But the BATF took that crucial

    Jerry was handcuffed and taken to Mesa Police HQ by a
    BATF agent and a Phoenix policeman, read his Miranda
    rights, and held for about three hours.

    "Am I under arrest?," he said he asked.

    "No," they replied.

    "Can I leave?"

    "No, you're being detained."

    Other than being told his paperwork wasn't in order,
    and that he had sold two guns to straw purchasers --
    which Jerry angrily denied -- he has never been told
    the reason for the raid and seizure, nor had any
    charges been filed by Nov. 1.

    When he was taken back to his store, he was
    fingerprinted and had mug shots taken in front of
    friends and gawkers.

    When Angel called BATF he was told that Jerry did
    not have a Mesa pawnbroker's license, a $100 ticket
    supposedly required to sell used guns in the city
    -- which would almost certainly violate the state's
    preemption law. But Jerry doesn't pawn guns.

    The Federal interest in Mesa's ordinance is an
    obscure provision of the law requiring all licensed
    dealers to be in compliance with local laws and
    zoning restrictions.

    Unlike some other recent much-hyped BATF raid targets,
    Jerry has no criminal record, "not even a speeding
    ticket," he told me.

    In those other raids BATF used highly questionable
    search warrants to justify fishing expeditions which
    produced clearly illegal items. The "violation" of
    Mesa's ordinance may be a way to rummage around for
    something unlawful.

    Jerry adamantly denies that he has anything illegal
    or has knowingly committed any offense. I sure hope
    he's right.

    To begin receiving Neal Knox's bi-monthly newsletter,
    send a contribution of $25 or more to The Firearms
    Coalition, 7771 Sudley Rd. No. 44, Manassas, VA 20109.


    For clarity's sake, it was actually John Arbon of
    CPHV.com who was told by ATF that the war against
    Jerry Michel was waged for his not having a pawn
    permit. When Neal, Jerry and I spoke on Nov 1, we
    covered so much ground I can easily understand how
    Neal arrived at that conclusion, no biggie.

    In fact, Jerry and I went to the federal courthouse
    in Phoenix today to pick up the search warrant affidavit.
    (For those who don't know, a search warrant affidavit
    is a written declaration made under oath before a notary
    public or other authorized officer. In this case, it is
    the Statement of Probable Cause that serves as the sworn
    testimony given to the judge to entice him to sign the
    gun confiscation order.)

    The specific "law" the ATF used which relates to the
    pawn permit is fascinating. According to the affidavit,
    and I quote precisely, so poor punctuation is on ATF's

    The definition of a Secondhand Dealer, as defined in
    MCC Code 5-7-1, is any person engaged in the business
    of buying, selling trading, exchanging or otherwise
    dealing in any of the following items; secondhand goods,
    wares, merchandise, or articles; old stamp old coins and
    money; and "precious items" as defined in ARS 44-1601.
    This definition applies whether such business is the
    principal or sole business carried on, managed or
    conducted with a branch or department of some other

    Also according to the affidavit as part of the testimony
    used to jack Mr. Michel up is a statement that Mr. Michel
    does have, in good standing, "a valid City of Mesa
    Transaction Privilege Sales Tax License, #00082967. The
    affidavit states that he has a "regular" license, but not
    a "secondhand dealer's license."

    The villain.

    Also relating to Mr. Knox's above, to my knowledge and
    Jerry's, there were no "state" police involved insofar
    as the State of Arizona is concerned, only City and
    Federal. Neal offers an apology to all state officers
    for the oversight. His draft was correct, but we covered
    a lot of ground that day.

    Jerry asked me to be brief in relaying the contents of
    this affidavit, so I will. First, a bit of commentary
    of the experience of acquiring the affidavit. I called
    the courthouse to ask if the affidavit had been released
    to the general public yet. I persisted through the usual
    maze of recordings until, by accident, I reached a live
    person. I then persisted until I got to the proper desk
    in the room where court case records are held.

    I said, "In reference to case number _____, will you
    please confirm that it has been released so I can
    justify a trip to the downtown area to pick it up?"

    "I'm sorry. I can't tell you that over the phone. You
    can come down here and I will check for you when you
    get here."

    "Ma'am, are you telling me that if I live two hours
    away, I must invest 4 hours of driving just to get you
    to walk over to that filing cabinet to let me know if
    what I need is there?"


    "Are you in the same room as the filing cabinet that
    would contain the file for court case #_____?"


    "Will you please go open the drawer and tell me if the
    file is there so I don't have to waste 4 hours of my
    life finding out it is not there?"

    "No. You must come down here in person to see if it
    has been released. Thank you. Click."

    Your tax dollars at work.

    So Jerry and I arrange to meet in a downtown location
    and walk in together. He asked me to be a witness, and
    I was eager to meet these fine people who'd tell me to
    waste 4 hours of precious drive time to have the file
    not be there. We left our hardware in our cars as the
    federal building is metal-detectored.

    It was there.

    Here is, for now, the only thing Jerry's comfortable
    with me saying: As we read the 15 page Statement of
    Probable Cause, Jerry said at least 5 times, "That is
    NOT TRUE!" He belabored several points at length,
    and at even greater length before we left. There is
    at least one and are possibly three or four things
    that the ATF couldn't prove if they tried. And they
    surely won't try on some of their "statements of
    probable cause," because they'd lose. They used as
    much inflammatory "evidence" as they could pull out
    of a dark smelly place in order to get a judge to
    sign a confiscation order, and that is that.

    And they DO accuse him of making straw sales, as well,
    (He contests every last one of them, vehemently.)

    I will produce as much of this affidavit as Jerry
    permits, as soon as he says I can do so. Though it's
    now a matter of public record available to anyone,
    I respect this man enough to do what he asks. I also
    respect the opinions of Neal Knox, Larry Pratt and
    David Hardy (former NRA lawyer who is still closely
    allied with them), and they all suggested to not
    pound on this too much until ATF files charges.

    Also noteworthy: We asked the clerk to make two copies
    of this document, which totals 19 pages including the
    search warrant, the list of items to be stolen, and the
    Statement of Probable Cause. 19 pages, times 2. For our
    38 pages, we were handed a bill for $19.00 and told to
    walk across the hall to pay it.

    We did.

    Finally, for now: the ATF used 5 undercover agents
    and has been after Jerry since at least March 2,
    2000. Certainly thousands and likely tens and maybe
    even hundreds of thousands of dollars were used to
    attack this man.

    And all it would have taken was a couple of phone calls.


    Reprint permissions granted in any and all formats
    along with the following statement is included:

    "Reprinted with permission from KeepAndBearArms.com,
    a member-supported organization that loves freedom."
  12. Greg L

    Greg L Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Northern KY
    I'm kind of confused by this as well. I can (sort of) see them calling in Aug or early Sept. to ask about them. But once the ban expired in mid Sept. it was as if it never existed, correct?

    I think that the whole point of the call came at the very end & that the mags were probably just an excuse to make the call in the first place. :uhoh:

    However it is though I'm glad that they seemed quite reasonable & that it was relatively painless on your end.

  13. cpileri

    cpileri Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    different ban

    The law they are enforcing is the 89 import ban, a customs law. This has been discussed on sauga-12.com and other places.
    basically, if you order more than a WHOLESALE price of 100dollarsUS on any SINGLE purchase from outside the US, you must fill out a Form 6 or you have broken tax laws.
    Its NOT the AWB.
  14. boofus

    boofus Guest

    The letter specifically stated I might have illegally imported new Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Devices (LCAFD as they put it) which were illegal up until Sept 14 2004.

    I just told them my mags didn't have the required LE/Govt only ban markings and the seller told me they were pre-ban. The agent said I would probably not hear from him again, and if I did at worst he would just have to look at the mags to make sure they did not have AWB markings.
  15. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Well, yeah, but they caught Patty Hearst, didn't they?

    Oh. Wait. That was the F., the B., and the I. Sorry.
  16. LynnMassGuy

    LynnMassGuy Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    People's Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    They are going after an exporter who is in Germany? Does the BATF have jurisdiction In Germany? If they are going after an overseas source what penalties can the BATF impose on the exporter?

    LMG :uhoh:
  17. pcdurham

    pcdurham Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Sounds like the ATF has got a bunch of free time on their hands :rolleyes: .
  18. deej

    deej Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    (Occupied) California Republic
  19. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    Yes, in fact if you did have LEO marked mags and/or AW or stuff that was made after 9/13/94 but had it before 9/13/04 the ATF can arrest and charge you. However I don't know if you will be convited.

  20. sturmruger

    sturmruger Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    NW, WI
    Was his name Schmucatelli?? (spelling?)
  21. DMF

    DMF Member

    May 10, 2004
    No, not true. If you illegally obtained something banned under the AWB the day before it expired, you committed a crime. However, unless it was a very serious violation it's doubtful it would ever get prosecuted.

    The issue here is this particular company is suspected of committing several violations, some were AWB during the ten years it was in effect, some were other crimes. Either way if they can prove a violation of the AWB occurred before it expired, and in the last 5 years (statute of limitations) they can still charge the crime.
  22. InfernoMDM

    InfernoMDM Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Yes the previous thread is about the same guy. His site states "I am not doing anything illegal in my country, make sure you are being legal" well not exact words. I asked around and got my threaded barrel. However he didnt fill out the form 6 so my barrel disapeared. Becareful buying overseas.
  23. USMCsilver

    USMCsilver Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Middle of SC
    Glad to see you only got a letter. I wish that were the case instead of them showing up on my doorstep.

    Odd that this stuff is still going on. From what I understood, there was a nationwide sting on the day I got my visit and most of the letters went out during that week.

    Oh well; at least it sounds like you got out of it alright. I've yet to hear anything back, but when the bell tolls, if it does, I'll be ready...
  24. 赤悪魔

    赤悪魔 Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Lower 48
    from Germany in Jan, 2004? The ban was still in affect and you may have broke a law or too, including the tax code. Also I heard form a FFL dealer that a german company was being investigated for some illegal activities. That was back in Novermber.
  25. snafuie1

    snafuie1 Member

    Jun 24, 2003
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