Editors Note: ATF leakers have come forward and provided AmmoLand News information that ATF agents used controlled buys to acquire the seller’s information then pressured sellers to turn over their customer information.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -(Ammoland.com)- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) crackdown on Force Reset Triggers is continuing, and now AmmoLand News has been able to get additional information from sources inside the Bureau.
While some of the ATF’s visits can be seen as aggressive, such as an Indiana man who purportedly felt he needed to turn over his entire AR15, other visits involve far more sympathetic ATF agents. The special agents who act sympathetic do not seem like they want to be at the target’s house and sometimes will go as far as saying that they don’t “agree” with the order. Some of these Special Agents might be using remorse as a technique to build a report with the target, but in some cases, it is genuine remorse. One of these agents spoke to AmmoLand News on a condition of anonymity, giving the gun community an insight into the ATF’s actions.
The order to take the triggers came from ATF headquarters to field offices nationwide. The field offices were supplied with a list of forced reset triggers purchasers. The only brand and make of triggers that AmmoLand’s source has seen listed is the Rare Breed FRT-15. Other forced reset trigger brands could be listed, but our source’s list that ATF HQ provided just had Rare Breed Triggers. There is a possibility that this disparity is due to the market share held by the Rare Breed FRT-15. AmmoLand News has not been able to track anyone down with any other triggers visited by the ATF, except for a man arrested on multiple machine gun charges who also had a Tommy Trigger.
All triggers listed for confiscation were purchased through GunBroker auctions. These purchases were from multiple sellers on the website. The source did not know how the ATF headquarters acquired all the purchaser’s information. The ATF could have tracked numerous sellers and got the customers’ information from them. At least some of the information could have been obtained by using controlled buys from the sellers targeted on GunBroker. Then the ATF could have pressured the sellers to turn over the information. AmmoLand News reached out to GunBroker for the previous article but still hasn’t gotten a response.
Although some triggers confiscated were purchased from Rare Breed, the ATF agents seemed to have less information on those purchases. The agents did not provide dates, order numbers, or other identifiable information about the purchases from the Rare Breed website. The agent could have been fishing for information or used something the purchaser said to guess that the owner purchased a trigger directly from Rare Breed. With the GunBroker purchases, the agents had the seller’s names, transaction dates, and other identifiable information.
The Special Agents do not have discretion whether to contact the buyer or not. The order from ATF HQ demanded the field offices act. The ATF Special Agents are instructed to persuade the owner to turn over the triggers. While some agents are honest with gun owners and even give them a couple of days to decide what to do with the triggers, others have lied to the target. Law enforcement officers are not under any obligation, to be honest.
One threat that has been used is the responding ATF agent threatening to get a warrant. According to our source, as of now, that is an empty threat. Some agents have also threatened to file charges if the triggers are not turned over. As of now, that seems like a scare tactic. ATF HQ did not list the next steps if the gun owner doesn’t turn over the triggers other than noting the case. That doesn’t mean a search warrant will not be executed at a future time or charges will not be filed down the road. But the ATF will not execute a search warrant or arrest the owner as quickly as some ATF agents imply.
The best bet for owners of Rare Breed triggers is to exercise their right to remain silent and contact an attorney.
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.