One man was puzzled to find ATF agents at his front door, demanding to see his legally owned firearms. The agents failed to present any warrant and claimed this was just a routine check. What they forgot to take into account was the homeowner’s door camera.
Two ATF agents and one state trooper showed up at a man’s home, seemingly warrantless and donning tactical gear, and demanded to see his legally owned firearms. According to reports, the homeowner was alerted to trespassers on his property by motion detectors outside his front door. A live video feed from his doorbell camera showed three armed men wearing tactical vests, t-shirts, and jeans. Two appeared to be ATF agents. The third was a Delaware State Police trooper. None wore body cameras.
“Reporter Frankie Stockes of the National File shared the video, and reported that the agents were ‘warrantless,'” The Daily Caller reported. “The agents were trying to ensure no straw purchases were made. A straw purchase is when an individual buys a gun for someone else.” However, the homeowner, who wished to remain anonymous, was genuinely alarmed by what transpired.
In the video captured by the door camera, an agent allegedly from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives said he was there to verify if the homeowner still had two recently purchased firearms. “All I’m doing is verifying that you have it, you got two different purchases,” the agent said, pointing to a document that presumably shows the purchases. “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?” the agent asked.
After the homeowner answered, saying they were in his safe, the agents persisted. “If you can unload them and bring them out, we can go out to your foyer here, check them out, write the serial numbers and we’re out of here,” one agent replied while the second agent added, “It will take five seconds.”
At this point, a third person, who appears to be a member of the Delaware state police, explained, “The reason we’re out here is obviously gun violence is at an uptick. We want to make sure — we’ve been having a lot of issues with straw purchases. One of the things, indicators we get is someone making a large gun purchase, and then a lot of times, we’ve been there and ‘oh, those guns got taken.’”
“The idea is that when you purchase more than two guns at a time it generates a multiple sales report and it comes to us and we have to check them out. That’s all that is. You did nothing wrong – absolutely zero,” the first agent said before adding, “I noticed you were stopped in Philly though with one of your guns?” The homeowner was almost speechless. “I just – I didn’t expect –,” he stammered.
“Oh no. It just came up. We came here, look, I’m telling you. 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,” the agent continued. That’s when the second agent chimed in. “We can look at them and write which ones you just bought, so we can save a trip from coming back. We’ll confirm that you have them,” the second agent declared.
The homeowner retreated inside, while the trooper, seemingly unaware he was on camera, said, “He doesn’t believe we’re cops.” The first ATF agent replied, “I don’t blame him.” The homeowner brought out one rifle and one of the agents checked the serial number before saying it wasn’t necessary for the homeowner to retrieve any more guns.
Armed American News spoke to the homeowner. “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.”
Radio personality Glenn Beck featured the video of the encounter on his program. “Here’s what you need to know, and tell your family this,” Beck began. “If the ATF, FBI, anybody steps up and says, ‘we just need to see your guns or we just need to verify that you have these guns,’ say, ‘No, show me the warrant.'” While we understand the need for caution regarding firearms, our Constitutional rights to bear arms and to privacy should not be infringed and are tantamount to safekeeping America as a truly free nation.