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Author Topic: Is the ATF taking names/addresses at gun shows?
DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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My husband was listening to G. Gordon Liddy yesterday, and Liddy took a call from someone who'd recently attended a gun show in Richmond. This caller said that ATF agents were there taking names and addresses of people buying guns, especially pistols. The agents would get the information from the forms the buyer(s) filled out and then pay a visit to the home(s) to see how many guns the person had, etc.

Sounds like bull hockey to me!

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jtelson
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Isn't it within the BATF's sphere of authority to verify that people who are purchasing handguns are licensed and if they are not then relieve them of said handguns?

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"Eternal pain and damnation await those who question the unconditional love of God."-Bill Hicks (1961-1994)

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DawnStorm
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My husband didn't say. I bet Liddy didn't either.
What Mark heard sounds like a colossal game of telephone.

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DemonWolf
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quote:
Originally posted by jtelson:
Isn't it within the BATF's sphere of authority to verify that people who are purchasing handguns are licensed and if they are not then relieve them of said handguns?

Yes, but they are also bound by the 4th ammendment and would need a warrant to search your home for guns.
I suppose that they would be allowed to show up and tell you to show them all of your guns and show any documentation that the require, but I doubt that they could do more than that without a warrant.

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jtelson
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Shouldn't have a problem getting a warrant - Here's paperwork that says John Smilth of 1234 Maple bought a 9mm browning. No record of Smith having a license. May I have a warrant to search the premesis?

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"Eternal pain and damnation await those who question the unconditional love of God."-Bill Hicks (1961-1994)

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by jtelson:
Shouldn't have a problem getting a warrant - Here's paperwork that says John Smilth of 1234 Maple bought a 9mm browning. No record of Smith having a license. May I have a warrant to search the premesis?

Well, the OP takes place in Virginia, so your scenario would be laughed at by the judge since Virginia doesn't require gun licenses.

I doubt the OP (that ATF agents acted this way) because it's outside normal boundaries of investigation. There is no probable cause to monitor these individuals' buying habits. Now, if the ATF had suspicions on a particular person, with knowledge that they were not authorized firearms, that's different. But an overall sweep or random checking is thin ground for an invesigation and is too much work and a waste of resources. I'd have to check, but I do not believe the ATF has the authority to ask for sales records without due process.

pinqy

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Thank you Pinqy! It just sounded like so much bull hockey. Mark tends to think that if Liddy said it, or if some caller said it, then it's true, because Liddy/caller has no reason to lie. [Roll Eyes] I'm wondering where the caller got this from--maybe his first cousin's brother's nephew who's doing time for a gun offense?
Mark has a pistol and a small rifle, and he had to fill out forms at the store where he bought them. The ATF hasn't come busting down our door yet. He's been to gun shows and has never seen (to his knowledge) any govt agent; he's also mentioned that many of the vendors use something called instant check when selling firearms.
Granted, I have a healthy skepticism of the Govt, but some things are just too black helicopertish to me.

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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The deal in VA is that the authorities (whoever THAT is) are trying to crack down on the gun shows to ensure that only licensed (as in FFL) dealers deal guns. Prior to a few years ago those "gun shows" were a just a huge swap meet with many regulated weapons changing hands in addition to full auto kits, etc.

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Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

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RangerDog
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Besides, when you fill out the ATF form you have to give a legitimate address.

There is also no law that I know of limiting the numbers of firearms a citizen can possess.

Ranger "opens his gun safe, let's see, 1, 2, 3..." Dog

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Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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It's worth noting that G. Gordon Liddy isn't exactly a trustworthy source on much of anything. Nor does he have a history of respecting the law himself, come to think of it.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
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quote:
Originally posted by Ramblin' Dave:
It's worth noting that G. Gordon Liddy isn't exactly a trustworthy source on much of anything. Nor does he have a history of respecting the law himself, come to think of it.

Yeah, but he was right in saying that Deep Throat really didn't exist.

No, wait. He was wrong on that too.

Pogue

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jtelson
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Well, the OP takes place in Virginia, so your scenario would be laughed at by the judge since Virginia doesn't require gun licenses.
Learn something new here almost everyday. Thank you

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"Eternal pain and damnation await those who question the unconditional love of God."-Bill Hicks (1961-1994)

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Sara at home
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I don't know anything about buying guns at gun shows but these questions popped into my mind:

Where were they taking names and addresses from?
Were they going up and asking the people?
Were they getting them from some form the person had to fill out to buy the gun?
Were they walking around asking others if they know that guy over there and where he lives?
How were they doing this?

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Dawn I heard that too (sue, me I like G. Gordon) and it twitched my UL meter too. The story was coming from a caller who was saying that the ATF were taking your name and address from the background check application and sending a police officer to the home (while the applicant was at the show still) to informaly interview whoever was home at the time "Does so and so live here, did you know that so and so was buying a gun, how many guns to they have." Sounded highly improbably to me. Gordon gave him the "that's terrible, if that's what they did." Enough to keep the guy talking but not enough to outright agree with him in case the guy was full of it.

Sounds unlikely to me and yes, sounds like a story that was wending it's way around the show with little or no basis in fact. Doesn't appear to be anything about it in the Richmond-Times Dispatch and you'd think something like that would make the news.

Gibbie

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Sounds like uber survivorist brainwashing propaganda at its finest working its way through that caller.

I can hear it now [BEST LIDDY VOICE]"That's terrible, why if that were true then Mrs. Liddy would have no guns for me to, er...her to plunk cans with [/BEST LIDDY VOICE]

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Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish

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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Gibbie:
The story was coming from a caller who was saying that the ATF were taking your name and address from the background check application and sending a police officer to the home (while the applicant was at the show still) to informaly interview whoever was home at the time "Does so and so live here, did you know that so and so was buying a gun, how many guns to they have." [Emphasis added.]

I hope that's where you're UL-sense tingled. The government moving quickly on something?

Whenever anyone I knew got a background check, it took forever (which is why people interested in collecting automatic weapons tend to get Class 3 FFLs).

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Gibbie:
Doesn't appear to be anything about it in the Richmond-Times Dispatch and you'd think something like that would make the news.

Gibbie

Yeah I think it would've made the news up here as well. Mark also said that another caller 'confirmed' the first, and contrary to my first impression, Mark had his doubts as well. (sorry Mark--I'll take my medicine like a ma-, er woman! [fish] )

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Senior
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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First of all, it would be easier for the ATF to send one agent to the police station to look at all of the background check forms than to have several agents wander around a gun show looking at forms.

Secondly, those forms get sent to the ATF within a week. A clerk enters the data from the forms into a computer There wouldn't be any need to send an agent into the field to get the same data.

Thirdly, why would the ATF do it?

It seems to me that someone has their tinfoil hat on too tight.

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blackthornbea
The Red and the Green Stamps


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http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=\SpecialReports\archive\200508\SPE20050823a.html

You might have to c+p the link above into your browser to get it to work...html idiot here.

It looks like it did happen...what BATFE was doing was taking the information from the NICS background check that all gun buyers have had to undergo since 1998, and using that to go to the person's house to verify they gave the correct address. Once there, they were interviewing the other residents and even neighbors. This, of course, is not legal.

It doesn't even address the "gun show loophole" that was mentioned above. They were getting address information from folks who were doing business with LICENSED dealers. Private dealers wouldn't be running the NICS checks at all (which is the "loophole").

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Lucian
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I have been hearing that the ATF has been going on a bit of a rampage lately but I have found no explanation as to why. They shut down my uncle's gun shop about 2 months ago on an alleged "straw-purchase" violation, although they have yet to charge him with anything. They took all the handguns in the shop and his records, but left the long guns. They even confiscated a few of his personal handguns that he had in his safe and the one he had on him. He has a conceal carry permit and his FFL Dealer liscence although the took the latter with them. Is there a statute of limitations on how long they have before they press charges in this type of situation? I will give more background on the situation if requested, but I have been meaning to ask this on Snopes since it happened.

Lucian Phoenix

Addendum: Even though it is my uncle and I am close with him, I have been trying to look at everything from a detached viewpoint. I have always known him to be law-abiding, meticulous about his records, and an upstanding citizen. YMMV

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"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei

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