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BATF--Screwup or Harrassment?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JohnKSa, Aug 1, 2003.

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  1. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    I got a certified letter today. It informed me that the 4473 I filled out at Wal-Mart when I bought a 10/22 was incomplete.

    I was pretty skeptical--I have friends in the business and I've heard the horror stories, so I'm overly cautious when I fill them out.

    Anyway, after about 15-30 minutes of waiting at the sporting goods counter for the proper manager to be found and bring the form, she showed up.

    She pulled out the BATF squawk sheet and it said something about question 19 which is on the dealer portion of the form. The BATF had dinged them for failing to answer a question about the NICS check.

    Of COURSE they hadn't answered it, they hadn't done an NICS check, I've got a TX CHL permit which bypasses the NICS. Which was stated as plain as day in the NEXT line of the form.

    The manager stated that the BATF had come and and run them ragged auditing the books and wrote up a ton of infractions, mostly nitnoid "errors" or minor incompletions (such as failures to write out words and using common abbreviations instead) on the 4473 forms.

    I can't see how it is possible that the BATF auditor didn't see that I had a CHL--the very next portion of the form (from where he found his "error") stated clearly that I had a CHL and listed the permit number.

    It sounds to me like they're trying to shut down Wal-Mart gun sales by picking them to death with BS "infractions."

    Your take?
     
  2. S_O_Laban

    S_O_Laban Member

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    I know very little about the ATF. I do know that I don't want anything to do with them and I feel that what ever good they do is certainly overshadowed by their abuse of power. If I had to bet one way or another I would bet that your not too far from the truth.
     
  3. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    They dinged Walmart out of the gun bizness in CA. Guess they're going for another state. :(
     
  4. HBK

    HBK member

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    ATF is a rogue organization that should be abolished.
     
  5. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Member

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    Maybe my usual shop is using old forms, but I don't recall seeing anything about NICS on their 4473's. I have a TX CHL, so I don't have to play that particular hide and seek game.

    I think the whole thing stinks of ruminant excrement, though, but that's just the radical Jeffersonian libertarian in me.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.
     
  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Gary,

    She actually mentioned CA and connected that with the problems they're having in TX.

    S.A.,

    That question isn't on the page the customer fills out. It's on the dealer portion of the form.
     
  7. hammer4nc

    hammer4nc Member

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    So, why are they sending you a certified letter, if the alleged mistake is on the dealer portion of the 4473? Did they request any particular remedial action on your part, or the dealer? Did they threaten legal proescution? A certified letter is often a signal that other enforcement actions are to follow (i.e., IRS liens); why would the agent waste resources sending such a notice?

    Is the letter signed by an actual person? You might consider replying with your own certified/return receipt requested response, concisely pointing up the apparent waste of tax dollars; make extensive use of the word "harassment" the agent is engaging in. Better yet, if you can obtain the names of the higher supervisors in the local office, as well as the supervisors in the Dept. of Justice chain of command, send them certified letters as well. Depends on how much effort you want to spend on it. How about sending a copies to the local newspapers?

    There are those (some on this board) who take a rather pedantic view of laws and rules. I'm surprised they haven't weighed in yet...their claptrap is something like:

    "The 4473 form clearly states NO ABBREVIATIONS are to be used! Anyone who willfully uses abbreviations, is obviously in violation, and has no excuse...the helpful BATF agents are just enforcing the law, after all. Violators deserve to be prosecuted. The good FFL holders spend a lot of time and effort to not use abbreviations, and those who take shortcuts give everyone a bad name!"

    Sorry to digress, but IMO, this anal-retentive attitude permeates agencies like BATF, is a waste of our tax dollars, and not consistent with any positive mission the agency may lay claim to. When a responsible citizen is confronted with such an example of this, it might be worth rattling a few cages in bureaucrat land, to maybe "embarass" them into actually doing something worthwhile for a change (if that is possible...not much else seems to work).
     
  8. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    Yes! Brilliant advice. I can just see it now. JohnKSa sitting in his recliner minding his own business watching some future Monday night football game and in come 30 bATFe agents busting down his door and hauling his whole family away in cuffs to be dealt with another day.

    IMO, resist the urge to be nasty with them. I know that it is a shame to fear things such as this but you have to pick your battles.

    GT
     
  9. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Can anyone spell "police state" ?
     
  10. EOD Guy

    EOD Guy Member

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    Actually, it was the California Dept of Justice that did that, not the BATF.
     
  11. keyhole

    keyhole Member

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    Many times, I believe that someone is bored, and finds an easy mark, instead of working to get a real criminal. Lazieness, and chalk it up to that.

    TarpleyG
    I have to agree, choose your own battles.

    I have a friend who was denied on a nics check, and did some work to help him get his record cleared up. ( they had the wrong info on his record, a couple of misd stuff that was entered wrong). You get a long way with being nice, than trying to fight them right off the bat.
     
  12. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Did the store write “CHL 123456†instead of “Concealed Handgun License number 123456†for the NICS exemption?

    ~G. Fink
     
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the correction EOD Guy.
     
  14. carp killer

    carp killer Member

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    Why? What's the purpose?
     
  15. Mute

    Mute Member

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    This is what happens when bureaucrats are given too much power and self importance. These people are more deadly with their memos then they are with any weapons.
     
  16. DigitalWarrior

    DigitalWarrior Member

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    Only one thing to do when contacted by an arm of the Government

    GET A LAWYER!!!
     
  17. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    John, now that I think about it, why would your CHL exempt you from a federally mandated NICS check? Maybe the store just screwed up.…

    ~G. Fink
     
  18. Kalrog

    Kalrog Member

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    Because you had a much more extensive check done when you got your CHL... at least that is the reasoning in Texas.
     
  19. Keith

    Keith Member

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    One of the best reasons to have a CHL is so you don't have to go through the damned NICS check and get "delayed" two or three days.

    Keith
     
  20. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    So the federal government will let you off the hook for NICS on Texas’s say-so? It would make sense for CHL holders to be exempted from a state-mandated waiting period—as most NICS checks can be accomplished in only a few minutes, if I’m not mistaken—but how would a state license exempt the permit holder from federal law?

    ~G. Fink
     
  21. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    It's so good to see our hard-earned tax dollars at play!
     
  22. Keith

    Keith Member

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    That's just the way the federal law is written. State CHL holders are exempt from NICs.

    Keith
     
  23. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Surprising … in a good way. :D

    ~G. Fink
     
  24. sshbiker

    sshbiker Member

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    It is surprising, but it makes a lot of sense to exempt Texas CHL holders from the NICS. Applicants must undergo a much more thorough background check and even send fingerprints and photos to the Texas DPS and the FBI.

    Shawn
     
  25. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    I’m sure they do, but the federal Department of Justice doesn’t know that the CHL holder hasn’t become a felon, mentally incompetent, or subject to a restraining order since he qualified for the CHL.

    ~G. Fink
     
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