Abuses of the BATF

Individual Incidents


No attempt is made to arrange these incidents by importance. They are merely listed as received.


Abuses of the BATF

Colorado Springs FFL Crackdown

From: crl@craycos.com (Curtis)
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995 09:25:58 -0700
Organization: Cray Computer Corporation

Last year the BATF in Colorado Springs decided that they were going to check out all of the Federally licensed dealers of firearms in town. The media reported it as a no big deal inspection, it actually turned out to be a strong arm tactic from the BATF t o remove as many licenses as possible.

The only way I know about this is a friend of mine was the recipient of these tactics. He is a small time dealer that makes only enough profit to fund his personal collection as well as target and hunting costs. He has never been suspected of anything ill egal and has no criminal record of anykind.

He had been recording his sales for years and paying all necessary taxes on business to all agencies. He maintained the current laws on gun dealing and followed them. He had started a small business and was paying the necessary taxes to operate a small bu siness.

They came to his house to to inspect his records looking more like commandos than government workers. On inspection of his records they found that a person who bought a pistol from him 6 months ago had mistakenly entered the current date instead of their birthdate. They told him they would charge him with saling a firearm to a minor since he had sold a pistol to a 6 month old child. He offered to have the person come over who had purchased the pistol to straighten out the paperwork. They said "fine", then they pulled their trump card.

"There's this little matter of a zoning violation. You have been operating a business from a residence not zoned for that". Forget that the city, state and county had accepted his small business tax money for years and not complained once.

Then they gave him **THE** option.

"You can fight us in court and risk 6 months in jail and $5,000 for every day you operated a business in a area not zoned for that, **OR** you can surrender your Federal Firearm License and we will forget the whole thing.

When an ordinary citizen with little financial resources is offered an option like that from the federal government it's not very hard to figure out which option he chose.

There was about 120 FFL licenses in our county before the BATF attack, today about 20 remain. I wonder how many other cities have been attacked like this?

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Bert Grant (Yakima Brewery)

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Museum Raided by BATF

The BULLET

The Official Publication of the Western Missouri Shooters' Alliance

Permission to reprint material granted, with full attribution

September, 1994

The BATF raided the North Carolina Military Museum and found (gasp) automatic weapons!!!! All legally registered. The museum curator was arrested nonetheless for possession of these guns, some ammunition, deactivated artillery shells, and a dewat rocket launcher; all legal.

NRA Alert July 1, 1994

BATF BUST IN BOONE, NORTH CAROLINA

The curator of the North Carolina Military Museum was the target of a BATF raid Tuesday, June 28. With search warrants in hand, ATF agents seized about 20 fully automatic firearms -- all legally registered to the curator -- inert artillery shells on display and about 100,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, according to the curator. Agents claimed the shells contain powder residue -- yet were clearly labeled "EOD INERT." Agents also claimed that the ammunition could have been stolen from the military. Curator Greg Pruess told NRA Public Affairs that he holds a Class III and a destructive device manufacturing license.

Pruess noted that ATF's computer print-out of the Class III firearms he had registered was inaccurate and said the agents did not know how to identify some of the firearms in question.

The small arms ammo was stored in a storage building adjacent to the museum. Once the agents noted the extent of the ammo, they called the press. Parroting comments made by the agents, local reporters said an explosion of the ammo cache could have cau sed a crater a half-mile wide. (Later news reports expanded the crater porential to a mile-wide.)

The agents came across an RPG launcher (inert, with operating devices welded-over) and allowed a member of the news crew to shoulder it while videotaping. "This is the kind of communist bloc weaponry" that prompted the raid, an agent told the press.

The seizure was the result of "an ongoing investigation for three years" involving an informant, Pruess said. -- This information is presented as a service to the Internet community by the NRA/ILA. Many files are available via anonymous ftp from ftp.nra.org and via WWW at http://www.nra.org

Main Incidents


Louis & Kimberly Katona

{{excerpted}}
From: Ted Drude
Newsgroups: talk.politics.guns
Subject: Brooks promises BATF investigation
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 94 17:39:12 -0500
Message-ID:

{{...}}
"House chairman attacks federal gun agency

WASHINGTON, Oct 6 (Reuter) - The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Thursday said Congress should curb the power of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to take guns away from Americans."

{{...}}

"As an example of what he said were ATF's abuses, Brooks introduced Louis and Kimberly Katona of Bucyrus, Ohio, who described an ATF raid on their House in 1992 to seize more than $100,000 worth of weapons they had collected.

Kimberly Katona said she suffered a miscarriage after she was shoved during the raid and her husband was indicted on 19 federal firearms violations. A federal judge dismissed the charges and ordered the weapons returned.

"It's been 2.5 years of hell," Louis Katona said. He said he is suing the agency."

{{...}}

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Bob Hennan

From: bhennan@popeye.jsc.nasa.gov (Bob Hennan)
Subject: Brady Misfires at *Accused* Felons
Date: 21 Nov 1994 16:22:06 GMT
Organization: Barrios Technology, Inc.

Much of Texas is also following the BATF recommendations for harassment. I was denied a handgun purchase earlier this year in Houston. I called Barry McDermitt of the Houston Police Department, ID Section, and discussed the matter with him (he has the ind ividual who made the decision to deny purchase). Barry was very professional and polite, and shed some light some on the "logic" behind the madness.

I was denied due to a misdemeanor charge from twenty years ago. In the state of Texas, the computer files show only the date and place of arrest, so if you show up on the computer for any kind of arrest whatsoever, you are denied. I checked on this with m ultiple sources, and was convinced that this is true.

Therefore, Barry found that I had been arrested, and left burden of proof on me that I was not a convicted felon. I argued with Barry that this was a case of guilty until proven innocent. Barry said that the Houston Police Department and the BATF had dete rmined that this was within their authority to do so.

Coincidentally, I had to take a day off from work for jury duty. I thought I'd have some fun, so stopped by Barry's office in the main office downtown. I handed Barry my jury summons and asked him to get me out of jury duty due to my new status of "felon" .

Barry was visibly flustered, I could tell that he hadn't thought out the implications of their policies. He stammered for a while and then said he'd call in the gun purchase approval. I had my court disposition with me (I had to send off for it from anoth er city) and ended up showing it to Barry to make him feel better.

Another interesting tidbit, Officer McDermitt explained the Houston Police Department's reasoning for rejecting transfers because of outstanding traffic tickets. He says that this means you must have lied on your transfer application (4473), i.e. you are a "fugitive from justice".

My take on all this Brady [crap] is that it's not having any affect on crime. The only thing that it's doing is hassling honest citizens. Fortunately, I think some of the backlash from these infringements on freedom showed up in the recent elections.

Bob Hennan (713) 282-3698 Barrios Technology, Inc., Houston, TX

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

53-year-old-man in Clifton, New Jersey

From:
Newsgroups: talk.politics.guns
Subject: Frightening ATF Raid in N.J.
Lines: 46

This morning my local newspaper, The Bergern Record of Hackensack, N.J. carried a front page story of a BATF raid on the apartment of a 53 year old man in Clifton New Jersey. In the raid 37 guns were seized along with 3,000 rounds of ammunition and wh at were described by and ATF spokesman as 2 homemade handgrenades and 3 "tubular devices" that could be pipe bombs. Additional 25 pounds of black powder and some quantity of smokeless powder were confiscated.

The ATF spokesman is quoted as saying the raid was the conclusion of a month long investigation after someone complained to the FBI that they thought the man was selling guns. Among the firearms confiscated were three which are considered assault weapo ns under N.J. and hence illegal.

What is frightening about this raid is that the investigation was triggered by some who thought this man was selling guns. Moreover, the ATF spokeman didn't say the man man was arrested for selling guns, so it is doubtful that he did. He was arrested for possession of the alleged explosive devices. Whether or not they are indeed real bombs may not make a difference since they were found along with a quantity of black powder and smokeless powder.

Also the photo that accompanied the article showed two ATF agents (their blue hats on backwards in gang fashion) carrying out three rifles, what appear to be a tubular magazine .22, a bolt action center-fire hunting rifle and a muzzleloader. There wer e no photos of the so called assault weapons nor of the explosive devices. The reporter seemed to have taken everything the ATF agent said as fact. He (the reporter) also reported that the man arrested was Korean War veteran, when at age 53 that is impo ssible.

What this article and raid make clear is that if you own more than a few guns along with reloading supplies, and if one of your neighbors reports you to the FBI, ATF or local police, you could expect this type of raid to occur.

BTW: Please note the photo would indicate that the press were along for the raid, and therefore notified ahead of time.

MICHAEL F. GORDON
JCEHC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU

Date: Fri, 4 Feb 1994 15:03:34 EST

Since posting this two days ago,my local paper, the same Bergen Record has had a follow up story. It seems the explosive devices were nothing more than fireworks, and so any charges related to the posession of said devices were not pressed. However, t he 53 year old ATF victim was charged with five counts of illegal weapons posession relating to his having had in his possession several illegal semi-automatic assault weapons (The charges were in State superior court not federal). His bail was set at $7 50,000.

Remember, this is someone who was only reported to have been thought selling guns and there was no proof that he was. Since only five counts of illegal weapons possessions have been filed and the raid seized 37 guns, I imagine that he had had all his N J paperwork for the other guns. This is an ordinary citizen with no previous criminal record who simply owned guns.

One more note, the paper is reporting that this "successful" raid was a result of a cooperative program between the ATF and state and local police on the east coast called Operation Trigger Lock. Its supposed intent is to stop illegal gun running from other states. Now we see that its real target is law abiding gun owners (an easy bust).

When the DiFi ban becomes law you can expect an expansion of this program into other states, bet on it.

MICHAEL F. GORDON
JCEHC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Pillar of Community Paralyzed for Life

{{file from RKBA archives at aphrodite.nectar.cs.cmu.edu, excerpted}}

"THE GREAT AMERICAN GUN WAR
Barry Bruce-Briggs
_The_Public_Interest_ No. 45, Fall 1976, pp 37-62
Copyright 1976 by National Affairs, Inc."

{{...}}

"(3) The BATF also made the grave error of providing the organized gun owners with their first martyr. In Maryland, in 1971, a local pillar of the community, -- a boy scout leader, volunteer fireman, and gun collector -- was in his bathtub when a group o f armed men in beards and rough clothes -- BATF agents -- broke through the door. Understandably, he reached for a handy antique cap-and-ball pistol and was shot four times and left on the floor while his wife, still in her underwear, was dragged screamin g from the apartment. What had happened was that a local boy reported a hand grenade in the apartment. There was, but it was only the shell of a hand grenade. A simple records check would have been adequate to establish the resident's bona fides, and if t here was an interest in following up the matter, someone might have come and knocked on his door. He is now crippled for life."

{{...}}

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Ron & Elaine Miller

  Msg#: 65                                 Date: 05-17-94  17:20
  Subj: Ron Miller Vs BATF
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 -= Quoting Diane Aguilera to All =-

Report: this is from the original sources

FFL dealer persecuted by political foes with the contrivance of BATF

ON April 29, 1994 at 1:50 PM the BATF raided the Slidelle Louisiana home of Ron and Elaine Miller. They kicked down the doors, used a torch on the floors of the house and distroyed a family vehicle in the search for weapons. They then left takeing every weapon in the house including a knife collection.

It seems that Ron upset the local powers that be by announcing this winter that he intended to run for Chief of Police of the small town of Pearl River, LA. Immediatly after making his intentions public he and his family have been the target of harassing phone calls and attempts to intemidate. He was told if he didn't back off the run for Chief, he would be hurt.

The threating phone calls increased in intensity until the BATF raid. They made several mistakes including not bothering to have the search warrant signed before they broke down Mr Miller's door.

Not being one to give into intimidation, Ron Miller and his wife contacted constitutional law attorney, Michael Connolly, 5917 Jones Creek Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70817 - (504) 753-3286. to represent them in a civil suit against the BATF and the "informer" (the informer is alleged to be a close political cronie of the current chief of police of Pearl River).

Since contacting Mr Connolly and retaining him, they have been getting ever increasing threats directed against Mr Miller and more specifically against his wife and children. Today at 11 AM the BATF paid another visit. This time they had a warrant for M r Miller's arrest - charging him with 3 counts of illegal weapons possession. NONE - of the firearms removed from Mr. Miller's residense were full auto weapons when they left the premisis according to Mr Miller and the inventory that he had.

Anyone wishing more information can contact Mike Connolly - (504) 753-2286. He is on the board of directors for the 2nd Ammendment Foundation and I have been in contact with the NRA civil defense fund. However they need immediate help to avoid being rail roaded by Janet Reno and Her Storm Troopers.

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Franklin Arms (Las Cruces, New Mexico)

September 10, 1993

Dear Friends,

My name is Cindy Pollock. In July of this year I was helping out at Franklin Arms when two agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) came in to inspect the store's BATF 4473 forms. This is not unusual, except that they said they would be here on Monday, July 19th at 10:00 am, but they showed up unannounced on Wednesday afternoon, July 14th.

THEY STARTED COPYING DOWN THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF EVERYONE WHO PURCHASED A FIREARM AT FRANKLIN ARMS SINCE JULY 16TH, 1991; THEY DIDN'T FINISH UNTIL FRIDAY, JULY 16TH.

[Emphasis in the original document]

I became very upset when they started copying the information from these forms. I said that I am an NRA Live Member, and this looks like firearms registration to me. The agent's response was,"No, [they] were just taking a survey of firearms sold along the border states." I asked what happens when the survey is over, will these names be taken out of the computer? No answer!

Since I was not on the firearms license and was just a private citizen I felt completely helpless. I had purchased firearms at Franklin Arms over the past two years, and now information concerning these arms would be in a computer somewhere. Who knows who would have access to this information? Look what happened to the IRS records in Atlanta, which were examined by unauthorized personnel!

I am a retired school teacher and an avid shooter. I have enjoyed shooting since I was twelve. I feel that my right to privacy has been violated. I am not a criminal! Why am I being treated like one?

I am now back at Franklin Arms full time and hope to help prevent this from happening again. If you purchased a firearm in the past two years, your BATF 4473 forms were also copied. Let your congressman know how you feel. DON'T SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING.

Who knows what's next?

                        Sincerely,
                        Cindy Pollack.

[Franklin Arms is located at 3025 South Main, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001. Phone number is 505-526-2600. Hours are 10:00 to 5:00 Mountain Time]

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Janice Hart

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Randy Weaver (Ruby Ridge)

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Traders Gun Shop

From: SCOTTSANDERS@delphi.com
Date: Wed, 07 Sep 1994 22:43:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AL: BATF raid on local gun shop.

Birmingham, AL
Sept 7, 1994

The local television news media has been reporting a BATF raid on a small gunshop in the suburbs of Birmingham.

According to the report by WVTM-TV, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms entered Traders Gun Shop, 1731 Center Point Road, at 10 AM today with a search warrant, closed the shop, and proceeded on a six-hour search of the premises. The own er, Jeannie Dollar, was not allowed in the shop during the search.

At the conclusion of the search, agents removed three cardboard boxes containing unspecified items, but there were assurances that there were no illegal weapons involved. No arrests were made, but it was stated that the search was part of an ongoing inves tigation.

There was no mention of the tactics used during the raid, but the agents pictured in the television news report were shown wearing body armor and dressed in "raid attire" such as Tee shirts, and blue fatigue pants.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Report written by author as taken from television news accounts.

Scott Sanders
scottsanders@delphi.com

Main Incidents


Abuses of the BATF

Branch Davidian Massacre (David Koresh)

Main Incidents

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