Thursday, August 18, 2005

A kinder, friendlier ATF

(Via Kim du Toit)

Of course, kinder and friendlier than what is a topic open for discussion.

As reported by the Virginia Citizen's Defense League, it seems that at the Showmasters gun show in Richmond last weekend, ATF agents, aided by local law enforcement, took a giant leap from their good senses:

I had reports from members of police going to their houses while the member was waiting for their approval to purchase a gun at the show! The police asked the spouse and other family members questions about the purchases and filled in a survey! "Did you know your husband was going to a gun show today?" "Did you know your husband was going to buy a gun today?" and many other such questions. If no one was home at the gun purchaser's house, the police went to the neighbors! "Did you know that your neighbor was buying a gun today? How do you feel about him doing so?"

Did you spot the red flag? How, exactly, did the local LEOs know that Joe Blow of 1234 So-and-so Lane was trying to buy a gun? VCDL doesn't address this, and I damn well want to know. Was ATF feeding them information? Were they accessing the NICS system? If they were, isn't that illegal? If they were and it is, will anyone face charges? (OK, you can stop laughing now, and you, the one with the milk, go wipe your nose.)

As if this isn't bad enough, the ATF agents trotted out one of their old standbys, accusing attendees attempting to sell a gun of being illegal firearms dealers.

Our government wonders why we don't trust it. Ps-s-s-t! Hey guys--this is why!

A pair of standup folks decided that this wasn't behavior that they were going to take lying down. Steve Elliott (head of C&E Gun Shows and affiliated with Showmasters) and Annette Gelles, head of Showmasters, made a journey to Washington, DC to face the lion in its den. They were told by ATF personnel that this should not have happened. Well, duh!

That said, I wonder if anyone from ATF be punished for this? We we see a press release that Agent Whats-his face has been fired for his actions at the Richmond Showmasters gun show?

Will the Devil show up at my local hardware looking for ice skates?

VCDL says they'll be watching for more of this kind of behavior, as should we all. I suggest you check the lists of shows at both C&E and Showmasters web sites, and plan on attending one near you, just to keep an eye on things.

You have to wonder how long it will be before reality imitates fiction, and what will be the consequences in the real world?

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