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The BATF Paid Me A Visit Yesterday

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by braxton14, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. braxton14

    braxton14 Member

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    After I left work yesterday (I'm an Animal Control Officer), I headed to the local gun shop/ FFL where I had my Browning 1919a4 sent. As I walked in I see two ladies standing over a 1919a4 and taking close up pictures of it laying on the counter while talking to an employee. Gullible me walks up and says "Nice, I just bought one too and am here to pick it up." Right then, they Identify themselves as ATF agents and ask for my name for confirmation . They then proceeded to ask if its Full or Semi auto and I told them that its a semi because I have not filed for a tax stamp, etc. Long story short, they were suspicious about it (asked for the info of the person I bought it from and information on John McGuire..because he's a reputable SOT that did the build). What made it worse, is that the manager there initially claimed that he wasn't expecting to receive it even though I called there multiple times and had an employee fax their FFL info to the seller (that was cleared up when I got there). The seller even had thorough contact with them (20+ exchanged emails) and I was told that everything was arranged for pick up (he talked to the agents on the phone as well when I was there). Now supposedly, the agents were already at the range/shop and happened to be there when my gun was delivered. After asking for my license and asking me several questions, they said the my gun will have to stay at the shop for about 2 weeks until one of their specialist can come by and verify that its a semi automatic.

    I'm just 24 but I'm far from new to the process of picking up a firearm from an FFL; and I've never been in a situation like this. I mean, being an officer with 2 degrees in Criminal Justice, I never would have guessed that I'd be federally investigated for doing something legal. And even though I did nothing wrong, having 2 agents thoroughly question me was a little nerve wrecking.

    What i don't understand is, why is my 1919a4 being singled out? Using their logic, all of the other guns transferred there, could potentially be full auto because of their looks!


    My questions are:

    1) Have you ever been in this type of situation?

    2) What would you have done?

    3) What would you do from here? (I already got the shop owner to email me a confirmation that it was transferred there)


    Here it is:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Filed for a tax stamp to do WHAT?

    A semi-auto 1919a4 is just an "Other Firearm." No tax stamp required, unless you're going to mount a stock on it and then SBR it... :confused:
     
  3. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Why does a tax stamp figure into the the transfer of a semi-auto?

    A bigger question, why was the dealer getting hinky with BATF about a legal transfer? That may be worth looking into on its own merits.

    Sounds like a fishing expedition on the agency's part (being there when a "scary machine gun" was delivered) but you're stuck in the middle now.

    I'd grill the dealer about why he felt the need to be less than upfront with the agents. That put you in a pickle.
     
  4. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Member

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    If you work for the ATF, you should absolutely be able to tell semi from full auto, no?
     
  5. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Most agents of any federal agency, regardless of the role of that agency, are nothing more than mid level beaurocrats with little more than an inkling of what their agency does. That's why some rise to the top quickly and stay there. They have a firm grasp and working knowlege. Someone from the Technology division will be assigned to inspect it, probably.

    ETA: but yes, in a realistic world, you'd think so. However, we live in something less than a perfect world where government agencies are somewhat less than optimal. Some days I thank my stars for that, though.
     
  6. nathan

    nathan Member

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    They must have had intel of straw purchases of such firearms and your young age must have ringed a bell on the store manager or what not. Maybe they are just cautious and trying to link the dots on said items. Just stay calm and cooperate.
     
  7. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Member

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    That would be expecting too much from them.
    I have the same question earlier posters have: if this is a semi then why the application for a tx stamp? It isn't necessary.
    It might be that your remark triggered their suspicions. Ever think about that?
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Not necessarily. The BATFE has various inspectors, and enforcement agents, and tech branch guys/gals who all have different roles and skill sets and knowledge.

    It does sound like a couple of inspectors were in the shop to do an audit of the FFL's books or some other administrative thing, and happened to see this huge "machine gun" sitting on the counter. Not knowing all that much about semi-auto belt-fed builds (heck, the vast majority of gun owners have never even heard of such a thing) they felt they need to call in one of the tech branch guys to make sure it is built in a way that conforms to the BATFE's rulings on what constitutes a true semi-auto build.

    Remember, the insides of a semi 1919 are reworked in major ways so that it both has the capacity to fire semi-auto from the closed bolt, and so that it cannot possibly accept the original style full-auto fire control system back into the receiver.

    That's a lot of tech-y stuff that a couple paperwork inspectors wouldn't have the background to identify on their own.

    Now, as to whether they should have taken the word of the buyer and dealer that this is a semi-auto weapon, not an illegal full-auto ... well, on the one hand, what would make them think that the Rem740 on the wall wasn't an illegal machine gun, too? But on the other hand, it IS a 1919 and ... well?
     
  9. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    If I were denied the Right to receive my legal semi-auto firearm I would certainly make sure to get write down their names/info from the identification and clearly ask if they are denying you the Right to receive your own property.

    That being said, you mentioned tax stamp so maybe you live in an area where not everyone can own a semi-auto?

    Either way, I wouldn't roll over on that, and I wouldn't care of the FFL owner after that.
     
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    A tax stamp is a federal thing related only to machine guns, SBRs, SBSs, AOWs, Silencers, and Destructive Devices. There is no correlation between state law and federal tax stamps. If you live somewhere where semi-autos are restricted or prohibited, a federal tax stamp doesn't help you any.
     
  11. wacki

    wacki Member

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    I'm with sam1911. What's the tax stamp for?
     
  12. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

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    They couldn't even tell the difference between a machine gun and an Airsoft gun.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rEuTwYALho
     
  13. braxton14

    braxton14 Member

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    CORRECTION: Disregard the "Tax Stamp" remark..I made a typo and didn't realize it until you guy pointed it out I meant to say: "and I told them that its a semi because I HAVE NOT filed for a tax stamp"
     
  14. Derek Zeanah

    Derek Zeanah System Administrator Staff Member

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    Wow. This ATF/Airsoft video made my night.

     
  15. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    Remember that the BATFE may start controlling the toxic substance commonly known as "sugar" in the near future. It seems that millions of 10 year olds are developing an unnatural fondness for it.

    This is good, as it may divert the agency's attention away from firearms for a while.
     
  16. blkbrd666

    blkbrd666 Member

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    LOL...that is one embarrassing video. If I were that ignorant, I would hope someone would just shoot me. This HAS to be some sort of joke.
     
  17. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    I wonder if anyone ever filled a FOI request to see the 'documentation' that an air soft gun can be converted to a machine gun?
     
  18. kwguy

    kwguy Member

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    OMG! I thought I was watching a comedy skit. That HAS to be a joke, right?
     
  19. splithoof

    splithoof Member

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    Why on earth was your firearm laying on some gun shop counter exposed to whomever casually strolls in? Something like that (or any firearm not meant for sale) should be kept out of sight. It should have never left the shipping carton except to be checked by the dealer upon delivery in the back room. At that point, it stays in the carton until you, the individual taking ownership displays required ID and completing necessary paperwork.
    Would other gun shop please comment on that? It is precisely the reason I prefer to deal with private FFL's.
     
  20. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    I was going to suggest finding a new FFL as well.

     
  21. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Actually, they've done that historically. Remember, bulk amounts of sugar are used in making moonshine. The "revenooers" would track sugar purchases in rural areas as a means of catching moonshiners. This was a big deal as recently as the 1970's, or later.
     
  22. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

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    They were either there for an inspection and happen to see it....

    Or the dealer had no idea what it really was when he agreed to receive it, and freaked out when he saw it and called them in.

    Given the way he apparently tried to cover his arse by saying he had no knowledge that it was coming, I'd guess the later.

    Time to find a new FFL to handle your transfers?
     
  23. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    I wouldn't raise a stink about a dang thing until they actually sieze it. You really don't want them to go all Waco on you. They left it in the hands of the FFL, didn't they? That implies they really don't think they'll have to confiscate it.

    Nope--Natl Security :D

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  24. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    Well,
    If I saw one of these:

    [​IMG]

    I would assume it was a "machine gun" until proven otherwise.
     
  25. swathdiver

    swathdiver Member

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    Reminds of another government employee who shot himself in the foot in front of a bunch of elementary school kids while talking about gun safety.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2013
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