Several days ago, a man in Deleware was surprised by ATF agents and local authorities. They had flagged him for having purchased too many firearms. The officers were on his doorstep and asked to see the two guns they knew he had recently obtained. These agents did not have a warrant and were simply asking him to provide them.
The man cleared things up and proved he had the two firearms still, but had he not had them, he could have been arrested and charged with straw purchasing.
This entire interaction was caught on a Ring doorbell video and has spread like wildfire. Gun owners were mad, and so were some criminal justice reform advocates. However, the lack of a warrant is what was most upsetting.
The ATF has come out to clarify some things, and they have released an official statement addressing the now-viral video.
As reported by AmmoLand:
ATF’s claim that these task force interviews are “voluntary” is laughable. Most folks are not attorneys, so when three armed men wearing tactical vests show up on their front porch unannounced, they don’t realize they can tell them to leave and slam the door.
ATF is using the public’s legal naiveté to their advantage. In fact, they’re counting on it. This is not law enforcement. It’s intimidation. The Delaware homeowner had done nothing wrong. He had the financial means to purchase a few firearms, which is a constitutional right guaranteed in the Second Amendment, so he bought a couple of guns. This is not a crime – at least not yet.
The fact that ATF declined to comment about the Delaware encounter because it was an “ongoing investigation” is ludicrous. What federal crime did the homeowner commit? Is there a Grand Jury investigating his lawful firearm purchases? Does he need a lawyer? If the agents had actual probable cause he committed a crime, they would have brought a search warrant rather than a page from an illegal gun registry.
It should come as no surprise that this encounter came just a few days after ATF’s new director, Steve Dettelbach, was sworn in. Dettelbach is notoriously anti-gun. When he ran unsuccessfully for Ohio Attorney General in 2018, he was endorsed by Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Everytown for Gun Safety. During his campaign for AG, Dettelbach called for reinstating the failed federal “assault weapon” ban and for universal background checks.