MESA, AZ -(Ammoland.com)- A video that has been taking the internet by storm shows an Industry operations investigator (IOI) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) caught on video taking photos of a firearms dealer’s records with her mobile phone.
The video took place at Black Metal Firearms, LLC, located in Mesa, MZ. Black Metal Firearms is a federal firearms licensed (FFL) dealer and manufacturer known for its AR-15 platform rifles. The issue at hand was a disagreement on how a variance for the AR-15 receivers used to build the rifles was entered into the Acquisitions and Disposition (A&D) logbook. AmmoLand News is withholding the exact nature of the violation so as not to affect the firearms manufacturer negatively, but looking over the internal IOI handbook obtained by AmmoLand News last May from a source at the Bureau appears to show that the IOI is wrong about the supposed violation.
According to the ATF’s own rules as laid out in documents provided to AmmoLand news by Gun Owners of America (GOA) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, IOIs are only allowed to photocopy ATF 4473 or other documents to log violations. Those copies must be treated as “evidence.” The ATF’s own rules strictly prohibit the mass copying of 4473 forms or any other documents. In the video, the ATF employee can be seen photographing the entire A&D logbook instead of just the relative sections. The surrendering of documents is also supposed to be voluntary by the FFL. AmmoLand News does not believe that Black Metal Firearms consented to have their records copied. The unidentified IOI in the video appears to be violating those rules.
The ATF internal document reads:
Execute ATF F 3400.23, Receipt for Property and Other Items, and fully describe the documents. ATF F 3400.23 is to be placed in the licensed dealer’s files in the sequential order of the ATF F 4473 that is being removed. Photocopies of the ATF F 4473 are to be forwarded to the dealer. These copies are to be designated as such and dated and initialed by the case agent.
Black Metal Firearms wrote on their Instagram page:
“No registry? Here’s our ATF auditor copying every single page of our A&D books with her cell phone camera using an app that reads text. This data includes make, model, serial number, buyer’s name and address, and even the seller. We have well over 20 minutes of footage of this happening in our shop in public view. Yes, this is illegal.”
The rate of FFL revocations is up over 500% after President Joe Biden launched his zero-tolerance policies on gun dealers. Many of the revocations stem from minor clerical errors by the gun stores. Also, the ATF has been reopening settled cases to revoke FFLs retroactively. The Biden Administration says it is cracking down on “rogue dealers,” but most of the shops caught up in the dragnet are small mom and pop stores.
Gun advocates worry that this is another sign of the administration’s war on guns. Biden’s ATF has been caught amassing a massive registry violating federal law. The ATF has also been changing rules to make de facto gun laws to enact gun control without Congressional approval. Several challenges have been filed in the courts.
AmmoLand News reached out to the ATF for comment, but the ATF did not respond at the time of writing.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.