Two agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and one state trooper from Delaware, who appeared to be warrantless, made a surprise visit to a man’s house wearing tactical gear and demanded the homeowner to show his newly purchased firearms, as first reported by Armed American News.
In a now-viral video captured by a Ring camera, the agent explained that ‘multiple sale reports’ are generated if someone made a purchase of more than two firearms at the same time.
“The idea is when you purchase more than two guns at a time, it generates multiple sale reports. It comes to us, and we have to check them out,” one of the agents said.
“The reason we’re out here is we’re obviously gun and violence [have] been an uptick, so we want to make sure… we’ve been having a lot of issues with straw purchases,” the agent explained.
“Straw purchase” occurs when someone makes a gun purchase on behalf of another person.
“All I’m doing is verifying that you have it, you got two different purchases,” the agent said. “If you have them, I’m out of here. That’s how quick it is. Yeah. Do you have them with you by any chance?”
“They’re in my safe,” the homeowner replied.
Watch the video below:
The homeowner started to question and feel confused by the events that were taking place on his property.
“It just came up. We came here… There’s an email from the federal side saying can you make sure this guy’s got his guns. If you recently purchased a whole bunch of guns, if we can look at them and just scratch them off,” one of the agents said.
Watch the video below:
The homeowner then retrieved one of his rifles and asked the agents if he needs to bring out the rest of his firearms. The agent responded that it was not necessary to see anymore.
The homeowner believes he was coerced into giving his consent for what was legally a search of his property, even though no enforcement action was taken against him.
Since the ATF agents did not have a search warrant – they lacked probable cause to obtain one – they had to rely upon extracting consent from the homeowner.
When the courts consider consent, they look at its voluntariness – whether consent was freely given or coerced. They also consider whether the defendant knew he had a right to refuse. Other factors like the time of day and the officers’ demeanor and uniforms can also be considered by the court.
They pushed hard. They were clearly in a hurry, and the threat they might have to return was menacing.
“I was embarrassed,” the homeowner said. “My neighbors saw the whole thing – guys in these police vests standing in my yard. I was really uncomfortable. I felt really confused, like I was in some way being accused of something even though I didn’t commit a crime. It was quite embarrassing. I knew they couldn’t come in, but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to get put on some watch list. We just got new gun laws here. I didn’t want them coming back again. I felt like they were invading my privacy.”
Read the rest here.
By Jim Hoft