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What if the ATF comes to your house?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Extremely Pro Gun, Sep 29, 2009.

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  1. Extremely Pro Gun

    Extremely Pro Gun Member

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    I have wondered what I would do if the ATF came to "see" my newly purchased guns. :uhoh:

    Should I tell them I sold them? Or lost them? or just comply?

    What would yall do?
     
  2. N003k

    N003k Member

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    Depends.....are you an FFL?

    How does it FEEL?

    What excuse do they give?

    Do they have a warrant?

    Odds are, I'd ask them to wait outside, call the local PD to make sure they're legit, then, since my father has a C&R, I wouldn't have overly much of a choice I don't believe....Be doing a quick search to double check that before they come in though...
     
  3. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    If there's no warrant, they had better be pretty damn polite asking, and I'll be polite declining.

    I highly doubt the ATF (or a real LE agency) really cares about any citizen's arsenal, it isn't high on my list of priorities.
     
  4. Extremely Pro Gun

    Extremely Pro Gun Member

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    well i was wondering if i had the right to not comply and tell them to leave. I guess so.
     
  5. N003k

    N003k Member

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    Well, yes, unless they have a warrant or you have an FFL.....you can say "No thanks, cya around!"
     
  6. Extremely Pro Gun

    Extremely Pro Gun Member

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    I dont have an FFL :D

    I actually heard about them coming to peoples residences in Texas after they make a purchase of ARs or AKs. I think its because the BS in mexico and cartels.
     
  7. Spirit 1

    Spirit 1 Member

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    I would guess, and that's a guess, that unless a rather serious crime was committed or they had gotten a 'hot tip' that the chances of ATF ever planning a warrantless search are slim in the extreme.

    Personally, should it ever happen, I would certainly ask if they have a warrant, and if not, "Have a nice day, folks..." and close the door.

    If they did have a warrant for a search then it's good to remain civil and cooperate at least to a limited extent otherwise you'll be getting three hots & a cot for a while, possiby a very long while.

    I have heard of a local getting busted real hard because of a LE tip by his ex-wife. She provided no proof other than a personal statement. I also heard the charges were later dropped but not before some long jail time.
     
  8. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    This doesn't need to be hypothetical. Members have posted threads where it has happened. Particularly when they purchased more than one military-style rifle the same day and BATFE wanted to make sure that they weren't selling them in Mexico.

    Here's the long and short of it. They need a warrant. In coming to your house WITHOUT a warrant, they are HOPING that you will surrender your right to privacy and let them in anyway. They can do anything they want to to convince you that this is a good idea. If they had probable cause to get a warrant, they wouldn't show up without it. Do you work hard for your money? DON'T GIVE THEM A FREE LUNCH.

    I had a business partner who was visited by a federal agency. They said that someone he had sold something to was involved in child pornography and they needed to get a copy of his hard drive to make sure that he wasn't also involved. He fell all over himself to show them everything. It smelled fishy to me, and I told him so. When I later had some joint training with some people who worked for this agency, I heard them discussing a related matter, so I brought it up to them. They looked at each other and giggled. The explained to me that if you want to get ANYONE to forget all about that annoying little warrant, drop the kiddie porn accusation. All you have to do is HINT that they are involved in trafficking child pornography and they instantly become more worried about their image than their rights. They said if it's failed they haven't seen it yet. They are allowed to lie, threaten, and coerce to try to make you forget that to go into a home you need a warrant, exigency, or permission. If you don't have a warrant, and there is no exigency, time to get some permission.

    There will be those in here who will say; "Just let them in and show them the guns. What can it hurt?" It sounds like a great idea until they come in and look in your safe, and see an SKS that has been modified.

    "Hey. I don't think that SKS is is compliant with 922r."

    "But the guys on The High Road told me it was if I did it this way."

    "So you admit that it was YOU that did the modifications. You didn't buy it that way. I'm calling the judge to ask for a warrant to search all of your guns, bank records, and internet logs to see who you have been doing gun business with."

    "But that's not correct. The gun is compliant. There's a carbon smudge over the "Tapco U.S.A. stamp."

    "I can't see it. Please don't touch anything while I'm on the phone."

    .............NOW does it sound like a good idea?
     
  9. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    I'd ask to see their warrant. No one in my dwelling has a C&R or other FFL, so they'd a warrant to enter the premises. I'd also probably check their credentials, and call the local LEA to make sure, but still deny them entry until that piece of paper manifests itself.
     
  10. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I would politely decline without the presence of a warrant. I'm not a criminal and I have no intention of PROVING to them that I'm not.
     
  11. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    Whatever you do, DON'T LIE. Generally you have the right to refuse to answer their questions- which is fine and well if you choose to take that route. However, don't try to make a fib to the feds.

    Usually when they come to peoples houses looking for that information, especially in the OP's region, they are attempting to figure out if (or make sure that you're not) buying guns to resell illegally. (So, your fib could actually seem incriminating...)
     
  12. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    mp510 is absolutely right. I meant to touch on it and I forgot. Lying to them is illegal, and no good can come of it. Even if they don't charge you, if they uncover flaws in your story, it will make it easier for them to GET a warrant. While you're worrying about the Fourth Amendment, don't forget the Fifth. SHUT YOUR PIEHOLE.
     
  13. chevyforlife21

    chevyforlife21 Member

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    i would wonder why they are here cuse everythings legal.
     
  14. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    chevy, that has nothing to do with if, why, or most importantly, HOW they are doing it.
     
  15. gunlaw

    gunlaw Member

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    shut the door clam up and call your lawyer
     
  16. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    At present this is really not much of an issue. I think it will be in the future so I think it is well worth the disscusion.
    The thought of home invasion by imposters is very real especially if the theives have you targeted as a gun guy.
    Rational fear of our gov. is not out of the question either.
    3 guys in plain clothes or non recognizable uniforms flashing badges around and insisting they enter your home could quickly get out of control.
     
  17. bob.a

    bob.a Member

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    I've been thinking of getting a C&R license. What can you tell me about ATF or other governmental types gaining access to my home? Some of the above comments seem to indicate that no warrant is necessary. What rights do I waive in obtaining this license?

    Thanks for the info.
     
  18. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    1. No warrant, no entry.
    2. No conversations of ANY kind without a lawyer present.

    No exceptions, PERIOD.
     
  19. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Member

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    I don't answer the door.... I'm not home, I'm never home.... I don't live here.... I don't exist, I haven't existed for quite some time.... I'm a figment of my imagination......
     
  20. benminer

    benminer Member

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    If the ATF or any other law enforcement has a warrant, they are not going to "ask" if they can come in.
     
  21. sanerkeki

    sanerkeki Member

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    Just let them in, if you decline or tell them you are going to call a lawyer they will think something is up. let them wait in the living room and bring out what they are looking for only and if you have paper work and thats all. No need to get all offensive they are just fallowing orders. If you say No they might get a warrant and knock your door down so it makes it easier for you.
     
  22. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Yes, the F Troop has done some purchase follow-ups on gun purchases, to make sure that we's not all smuggling arms into Mexico. :rolleyes: The following threads outline one such encounter and the advice solicited/provided here:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=453768

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=455650

    As a general rule, I would expect that letting any uninvited guest inside your house is a bad idea. In the case of LE, it legally opens up the interior of the house to a visual inspection that can go all ways of bad on you.

    However you intend to handle the situation, do it on the front porch.

    That's a bit extreme.

    Be nice. Chat with them, on your front lawn or front porch. Answer their questions honestly. Do not sign any paperwork, and contact the NRA or other gun rights organization if you feel that you need legal help.
     
  23. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    Anyone who believes this needs to get to know some Feds and sit in Federal court for a day or two watching and listening to how evidence is gathered and cases are made against citizens.

    It's a big game they play with the wording of the law. People that let them do what they want are seen as ignorant suckers that they can play any way they want.
     
  24. staghounds

    staghounds Member

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    I disagree with that last, often times even if there is a warrant LE knocks and asks for consent.

    I'd ask them what they were looking for. They will tell you something specific, find out and maybe show them.

    It never hurts to give them a pleasant experience and to be seen as helpful rather than uncooperative.

    For example, the ATFE agents say they want to see the three ARs you bought last month at the gun show, to make sure you're not reselling.

    Thought experiment 1:

    "Sure, one is in the car trunk, I'll show you that one first. Two of them are in the safe, I'll go get them- my house is a mess, just wait here on the porch. I'll break them open so you know you're safe. Would you like a cup of coffee?"

    ATFE agents look at guns, leave pleased that you made their day easier, and figure that you are a solid citizen. It takes ten minutes, and all they see is those guns.

    Thought experiment 2:

    "You got a warrant?"

    2A- "No."

    "Then go away. "

    Agents leave. They have to report their own failure. They figure you have something to hide. At best, you go into the jackass/probable criminal/probably dangerous category. At worst, they decide to investigate you more closely.

    2B:

    "Yes, we do. "

    You get handcuffed and sit in a very hot car for three or four hours while the agents see EVERYTHING YOU OWN, cut into your gun safe, look at your computer, etc, etc. Assuming you aren't charged, you STILL go into the jackass/probable criminal/probably dangerous category, as well as having all the suspicious but not criminal stuff they saw listed. Your "arsenal", your "anti government web sites", your "thousands of rounds of ammunition".

    With a bonus listing as "We just missed that guy, next time..."

    And they WILL investigate you more closely.

    ATFE is law enforcement, aren't we in favour of that?
     
  25. chuckusaret

    chuckusaret member

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    Wrong!!!!! According to my lawyer the ATF does not make friendly visits to inquire about any possible weapons violations, questionable gun sales or just to see your last purchase. They come with a warrant to ensure anything and everything they uncover can be used in court as evidence.
    My lawyer said if they have or don't have a warrant that the best thing to do is KYFMS and call for legal assistance.
     
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