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Posted: 8/19/2013 12:19:23 PM EST
One of my local, small FFL's is extremely pro-2A. During his recent Industry Operations Investigation (audit), he took the stance with the BATFE agents that scanning (with their "magic wand" portable scanners) any pages in his books (either 4473s or Acquisition / Disposition pages) that were not part of an investigation or evidence of an illegal act was in and of itself, illegal. They kept trying, and he kept refusing. They threatened, cajoled, tried to trick, etc., but he didn't budge. It was left that they would be back in a couple of weeks with administrative warrants. He DID NOT keep them from viewing anything, and any page that was part of an active investigation was allowed to be scanned (except that he would not allow them to scan the entire A/D pages).

My question is, and I would appreciate source material backing up the answer - does the ATF have the right to scan those pages during an IOI? Wouldn't that be tantamount to creating a registry?
Link Posted: 8/19/2013 12:23:40 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2013 1:13:54 PM EST by learath]
They are doing this intentionally, and will continue to do this. The only reason to do this is to create a database of all 4473s. They cannot legally create a database of all 4473s.
John 'obamacare' Roberts will sign off on it anyway.

ETA:
Contact Alaskan Congressman Don Young met with ATF Deputy Director Tom Brandon on May 18, 2012. Congressman Young had sent a letter on April 24 which called on the ATF to explain why its agents had been visiting Alaskan gun dealers and asking for copies of their gun sale records.
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 12:07:16 PM EST
Congressman Young sounds like my kind of guy!

I'm really trying to help this FFL out as he's sticking up for 2A rights and not giving in to the Bunch of Assholes That Fuck Everyone. Based on what I've found, I think he's doing the right thing, but I'm looking for actual backup / source material to confirm it.
Link Posted: 8/20/2013 2:21:16 PM EST
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 4:23:06 AM EST
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.
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meaning?
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 4:25:54 AM EST
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Originally Posted By maggiethecat:


meaning?
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Originally Posted By maggiethecat:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.


meaning?



No air conditioning/lighting makes conditions really uncomfortable for inspectors.

Seems like a bad idea to me to intentionally piss off the man. But that's just me.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 4:33:23 AM EST
I've been an FFL for a little less than three years. I have not had my first inspection, so take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.

At a recent 4473 workshop put on by the NSSF, the speaker (retired No. 3 man at the BATFE, who had supervision over ALL industry operations inspectors) said that each year the BATFE pulls something like one-third of one percent of all FFLs. He really stressed that, contrary to popular belief, the inspectors are not there to bust your chops. He claimed the best approach was to cooperate with them and get them out of your hair as quickly as possible so they could move onto the next poor sap.

He also said that if you happen to run into a horse's ass of an inspector, the best approach was to contact the area supervisor and, ultimately, the assistant deputy director (his old job), if necessary.

Again, I haven't had an inspection yet so I don't know if this valid advice, but I certainly like the idea of not stirring up a hornet's nest unnecessarily.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 5:02:55 AM EST
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Originally Posted By maggiethecat:


meaning?
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Originally Posted By maggiethecat:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.


meaning?


Copiers runs on electricity.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 5:25:22 AM EST
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:


Copiers runs on electricity.
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By maggiethecat:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.


meaning?


Copiers runs on electricity.


duh.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 8:02:40 AM EST
The scanner, copier, phone and associated supplies are the property of the business owner.

It is not the owner's fault that the inspector used the business owner's supplies and the charge was $40.00/page/each copy with an itemized bill sent by registered mail to the agent's field office.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 8:08:17 AM EST
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Originally Posted By bradleyswine:
The scanner, copier, phone and associated supplies are the property of the business owner.

It is not the owner's fault that the inspector used the business owner's supplies and the charge was $40.00/page/each copy with an itemized bill sent by registered mail to the agent's field office.
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Originally Posted By bradleyswine:
The scanner, copier, phone and associated supplies are the property of the business owner.

It is not the owner's fault that the inspector used the business owner's supplies and the charge was $40.00/page/each copy with an itemized bill sent by registered mail to the agent's field office.




From the OP's post . . .

One of my local, small FFL's is extremely pro-2A. During his recent Industry Operations Investigation (audit), he took the stance with the BATFE agents that scanning (with their "magic wand" portable scanners) any pages in his books . . .
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 8:16:41 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:



No air conditioning/lighting makes conditions really uncomfortable for inspectors.

Seems like a bad idea to me to intentionally piss off the man. But that's just me.
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By maggiethecat:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.


meaning?



No air conditioning/lighting makes conditions really uncomfortable for inspectors.

Seems like a bad idea to me to intentionally piss off the man. But that's just me.


Agreed. I would much rather they make copies and leave, as opposed to bring in 10 people to look for whatever they are looking for over the next 10 days in my shop.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 11:33:46 AM EST
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Originally Posted By bradleyswine:
The scanner, copier, phone and associated supplies are the property of the business owner.
.
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Wrong.
ATF IOI's are issued a portable scanner/copier.

Link Posted: 8/21/2013 12:33:29 PM EST
ATF IOI's are issued a portable scanner/copier.
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Yup.

Agreed. I would much rather they make copies and leave, as opposed to bring in 10 people to look for whatever they are looking for over the next 10 days in my shop.
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And that is why I like to patronize (visit, not make fun of) this particular establishment. He's willing to stick his neck out to protect my 2A rights and those of all of his customers. It honestly makes me a little sick when FFL's roll over for the ATF. My wife works at a large sportings goods store (with FFL) in the area and she said they take the stance "we do them favors and they do us favors". My response is to ask exactly what kind of "favors" they think the ATF is doing for an FFL. In my mind, it boils down to them being too scare to stand up to the ATF.

And who cares if they bring in 10 people? If you're abiding by the law and doing things right, you're good to go.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 12:39:09 PM EST
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:
And who cares if they bring in 10 people? If you're abiding by the law and doing things right, you're good to go.
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Time is money issue for most FFLs, especially if they operate out of the home or part-time. I mean, it is not like you leave thge keys with the ATF ask them to turn out the lights when they leave.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 3:46:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 4:12:58 PM EST by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:


And that is why I like to patronize (visit, not make fun of) this particular establishment. He's willing to stick his neck out to protect my 2A rights and those of all of his customers. It honestly makes me a little sick when FFL's roll over for the ATF. My wife works at a large sportings goods store (with FFL) in the area and she said they take the stance "we do them favors and they do us favors". My response is to ask exactly what kind of "favors" they think the ATF is doing for an FFL. In my mind, it boils down to them being too scare to stand up to the ATF.

And who cares if they bring in 10 people? If you're abiding by the law and doing things right, you're good to go.
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It's pretty easy to talk tough when it's not your whole life on the line. Put yourself in the position of a guy who has cashed in his retirement and pledged his home to secure a line of credit to try to build a business. Now imagine that some bureaucrat can totally fuck up your life with the stroke of a pen . . .


ETA: Have you considered the possibility that your FFL buddy may be the target of a BATFE investigation? If they want to scan a bunch of his forms, there may be a problem with the way he conducts his business. It may not be his customers that he's trying to protect, but himself. He may not be an FFL for long . . .
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 4:46:11 PM EST
It's pretty easy to talk tough when it's not your whole life on the line. Put yourself in the position of a guy who has cashed in his retirement and pledged his home to secure a line of credit to try to build a business. Now imagine that some bureaucrat can totally fuck up your life with the stroke of a pen . . .
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I don't have the patience for bureaucratic BS that is required of an FFL. And I agree, it's easy to talk tough when it's not my life or livelihood. But... there ARE dealers out there who are willing to stand up- shouldn't we be supporting them?

And "some bureaucrat" really can't "totally fuck up your life with the stroke of a pen"... they can only pull a license based on violations of the law, not because you don't allow them to do something they're actually not allowed to do.

ETA: Have you considered the possibility that your FFL buddy may be the target of a BATFE investigation? If they want to scan a bunch of his forms, there may be a problem with the way he conducts his business. It may not be his customers that he's trying to protect, but himself. He may not be an FFL for long . . .
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I did consider it. And he actually is a friend, not just my preferred FFL, so based on both knowing him personally and spending enough time in his shop to know how he conducts business, I'm of the OPINION that if he is under investigation, it's for no valid reason (and I doubt he's under investigation, based on the FACTS of the situation).

As far as the FACTS go, it was an IO investigation, with a plain old apparatchik investigator, not a special agent. There were no warrants. The Buch of Assholes That Fuck Everyone had the names of a few people they were specifically interested in, but again, no warrants. And they didn't cite him for any issues. Zero issues with a couple thousand forms.

As I said, I wouldn't want to deal with the BS that an FFL has to deal with. And while I wouldn't want to patronize an establishment that willingly bent over for the ATF, I understand that different dealers feel differently about varying levels of cooperation (I'm trying really hard to be nice) with the ATF.

Ok, trying to be nice got to me:
At a recent 4473 workshop put on by the NSSF, the speaker (retired No. 3 man at the BATFE, who had supervision over ALL industry operations inspectors) said that each year the BATFE pulls something like one-third of one percent of all FFLs. He really stressed that, contrary to popular belief, the inspectors are not there to bust your chops. He claimed the best approach was to cooperate with them and get them out of your hair as quickly as possible so they could move onto the next poor sap.
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So basically he said just do whatever the nice ATF agents tell you to without question. I'm pretty sure the Nazi's had some similar ideas - "Ja, Ja, just cooperate and hop in the shower - we'll be out of your hair in no time if you cooperate".
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 5:01:04 PM EST
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:. they can only pull a license based on violations of the law, not because you don't allow them to do something they're actually not allowed to do
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The problem is there is no evidence ATF/IOI making copies of your A&D is something they are not allowed to do. This is a battle that needs to be fought at the NRA/NSSF level, not the dealer level. When a Court rules it illegal, then it will stop.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 5:03:28 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
I've been an FFL for a little less than three years. I have not had my first inspection, so take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt.
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All my inspections have been pleasant affairs. I have nothing but good things to say.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 5:50:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:


Agreed. I would much rather they make copies and leave, as opposed to bring in 10 people to look for whatever they are looking for over the next 10 days in my shop.
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By maggiethecat:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.


meaning?



No air conditioning/lighting makes conditions really uncomfortable for inspectors.

Seems like a bad idea to me to intentionally piss off the man. But that's just me.


Agreed. I would much rather they make copies and leave, as opposed to bring in 10 people to look for whatever they are looking for over the next 10 days in my shop.



Is there any law that says the books have to be in English? Could they be kept, in say, Navajo?
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 6:17:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 6:27:14 PM EST by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:

I don't have the patience for bureaucratic BS that is required of an FFL. And I agree, it's easy to talk tough when it's not my life or livelihood. But... there ARE dealers out there who are willing to stand up- shouldn't we be supporting them? . . .
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:

I don't have the patience for bureaucratic BS that is required of an FFL. And I agree, it's easy to talk tough when it's not my life or livelihood. But... there ARE dealers out there who are willing to stand up- shouldn't we be supporting them? . . .


That depends. If the dealer is going to the mat for prohibited persons who are trying to sneak a buy through on his license, then he's an idiot. If we really like having our local dealer we should want them to look out for No. 1 so they're still in business tomorrow.



Originally Posted By theautobahn:

As far as the FACTS go, it was an IO investigation, with a plain old apparatchik investigator, not a special agent. There were no warrants. The Buch of Assholes That Fuck Everyone had the names of a few people they were specifically interested in, but again, no warrants. And they didn't cite him for any issues. Zero issues with a couple thousand forms . . .



So, basically, your buddy made a federal case out of something that didn't really concern him. Why not give them what they want and let them move on with their investigation? I'll use your own argument with you. If the customers are clean, then what do they have to worry about? If, on the other hand, the customers shouldn't be buying guns, why would the dealer want to protect them?

Link Posted: 8/22/2013 2:13:42 AM EST
So, basically, your buddy made a federal case out of something that didn't really concern him. Why not give them what they want and let them move on with their investigation? I'll use your own argument with you. If the customers are clean, then what do they have to worry about? If, on the other hand, the customers shouldn't be buying guns, why would the dealer want to protect them?
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Wait a minute, do you have an FFL? An IOI is simply an audit, not a specific investigation into particular people. The ATF can do an IOI not more than once per 12 months on an FFL (and generally only hit a small percentage each year). The Industry Operations Investigators are apparatchik bean-counters, not Special Agents. They might come in with a list of a few people that the criminal investigations side is looking at, but they're there to simply look for mistakes on forms, make sure that there are no guns missing (or no extra guns not logged in) and that's about it.

That depends. If the dealer is going to the mat for prohibited persons who are trying to sneak a buy through on his license, then he's an idiot. If we really like having our local dealer we should want them to look out for No. 1 so they're still in business tomorrow.
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Did you miss the part where I mentioned that knowing him pretty well, I'm confident there's no valid reason for him to be under investigation? Stop making up arguments about him "goign to the mat for prohibited persons who are trying to sneak a buy through on his license".

And let's try to get back to the original question- CAN ANYONE PROVIDE BACKUP OF THE LEGALITY OR ILLEGALITY OF IO INVESTIGATORS SCANNING FORMS / BOOKS?

Link Posted: 8/22/2013 2:37:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 3:37:47 AM EST by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:


Wait a minute, do you have an FFL? An IOI is simply an audit, not a specific investigation into particular people. The ATF can do an IOI not more than once per 12 months on an FFL (and generally only hit a small percentage each year). The Industry Operations Investigators are apparatchik bean-counters, not Special Agents. They might come in with a list of a few people that the criminal investigations side is looking at, but they're there to simply look for mistakes on forms, make sure that there are no guns missing (or no extra guns not logged in) and that's about it.



Did you miss the part where I mentioned that knowing him pretty well, I'm confident there's no valid reason for him to be under investigation? Stop making up arguments about him "goign to the mat for prohibited persons who are trying to sneak a buy through on his license".

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Originally Posted By theautobahn:
So, basically, your buddy made a federal case out of something that didn't really concern him. Why not give them what they want and let them move on with their investigation? I'll use your own argument with you. If the customers are clean, then what do they have to worry about? If, on the other hand, the customers shouldn't be buying guns, why would the dealer want to protect them?


Wait a minute, do you have an FFL? An IOI is simply an audit, not a specific investigation into particular people. The ATF can do an IOI not more than once per 12 months on an FFL (and generally only hit a small percentage each year). The Industry Operations Investigators are apparatchik bean-counters, not Special Agents. They might come in with a list of a few people that the criminal investigations side is looking at, but they're there to simply look for mistakes on forms, make sure that there are no guns missing (or no extra guns not logged in) and that's about it.

That depends. If the dealer is going to the mat for prohibited persons who are trying to sneak a buy through on his license, then he's an idiot. If we really like having our local dealer we should want them to look out for No. 1 so they're still in business tomorrow.


Did you miss the part where I mentioned that knowing him pretty well, I'm confident there's no valid reason for him to be under investigation? Stop making up arguments about him "goign to the mat for prohibited persons who are trying to sneak a buy through on his license".



Yes. I'm an FFL. I have not yet had inspection yet, but I'm absolutely anal about making sure I'm ready for one. As I mentioned above, I also recently attended a NSSF workshop on preparing for and surviving an audit. I'm familiar with the process, at least in theory.

You're the one who implied they were targeting certain individuals:

The Buch of Assholes That Fuck Everyone had the names of a few people they were specifically interested in, but again, no warrants. And they didn't cite him for any issues. Zero issues with a couple thousand forms.



Originally Posted By theautobahn:

And let's try to get back to the original question- CAN ANYONE PROVIDE BACKUP OF THE LEGALITY OR ILLEGALITY OF IO INVESTIGATORS SCANNING FORMS / BOOKS?




As to the legality of them scanning the forms . . . here's a couple of clues for you: 1.) they're doing it, and 2.) the BATFE issues inspectors the scanners. The BATFE's legal advisers must think they can do it. They may or may not be right but I can guarantee you one thing. I don't have the resources to challenge the practice and I doubt your buddy does either. If, like you say, they aren't after your friend, he'd be smart to give them what they want and let them do their scans.

BTW, if YOUR name is on one of the questioned forms, sucks to be you . . .

Link Posted: 8/22/2013 2:50:08 AM EST
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Originally Posted By DogtownTom:

Wrong.
ATF IOI's are issued a portable scanner/copier.

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Originally Posted By DogtownTom:
Originally Posted By bradleyswine:
The scanner, copier, phone and associated supplies are the property of the business owner.
.

Wrong.
ATF IOI's are issued a portable scanner/copier.



I was hoping you'd show up in here. What's your take, what would you do?
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 7:34:31 AM EST
As to the legality of them scanning the forms . . . here's a couple of clues for you: 1.) they're doing it, and 2.) the BATFE issues inspectors the scanners. The BATFE's legal advisers must think they can do it. They may or may not be right but I can guarantee you one thing. I don't have the resources to challenge the practice and I doubt your buddy does either. If, like you say, they aren't after your friend, he'd be smart to give them what they want and let them do their scans.
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My assumption is that the ATF cannot scan the pages WITHOUT CONSENT. My FFL did not give consent and the ATF did not end up scanning the pages. If they had legal backing that allowed them to scan the pages without permission, I suspect that he would have been cuffed at the time. They kept trying to convince him it was ok ("the other FFL's let us do it"), and they kept trying to do it (when he turned his back for a second), but again, he refused and they didn't push it beyond repeated attempts. I'm guessing the ATF issues scanners based on the fact that they know most FFL's won't object to the scanning of their books. It's like when cops ask you if you did something that they can't prove you did - they know most people will admit to it (just watch any COPS episode where they roll up on a prostitute in a vehicle - 99% of the time the John admits to it even though the cops couldn't have proved anything).
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 7:40:46 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
As to the legality of them scanning the forms . . . here's a couple of clues for you: 1.) they're doing it, and 2.) the BATFE issues inspectors the scanners. The BATFE's legal advisers must think they can do it. They may or may not be right but I can guarantee you one thing. I don't have the resources to challenge the practice and I doubt your buddy does either. If, like you say, they aren't after your friend, he'd be smart to give them what they want and let them do their scans.
BTW, if YOUR name is on one of the questioned forms, sucks to be you . . .
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Holy shit man. "The BATFECES thinks it's legal, so it must be." You really just said that?
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 7:48:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 7:49:10 AM EST by RenegadeX]
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:

My assumption is that the ATF cannot scan the pages WITHOUT CONSENT. My FFL did not give consent and the ATF did not end up scanning the pages. If they had legal backing that allowed them to scan the pages without permission, I suspect that he would have been cuffed at the time.
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Well they cannot really do anything without consent. An FFL could refuse to open the safe, nothing they can do at the moment. If an FFL chooses not to allow an inspection to take place, they will not force it to happen. They will use administrative methods as you alluded to in the OP. Your FFL was not cuffed because IOI are not Law Enforcement officers.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 10:47:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 10:49:08 AM EST by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By learath:

Holy shit man. "The BATFECES thinks it's legal, so it must be." You really just said that?
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Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
As to the legality of them scanning the forms . . . here's a couple of clues for you: 1.) they're doing it, and 2.) the BATFE issues inspectors the scanners. The BATFE's legal advisers must think they can do it. They may or may not be right but I can guarantee you one thing. I don't have the resources to challenge the practice and I doubt your buddy does either. If, like you say, they aren't after your friend, he'd be smart to give them what they want and let them do their scans.
BTW, if YOUR name is on one of the questioned forms, sucks to be you . . .

Holy shit man. "The BATFECES thinks it's legal, so it must be." You really just said that?



Yes. I said that. As a practical matter it's absolutely true. Personally, I think it's illegal as hell that they are now requiring multiple sales forms for the purchase of two or more rifles in the states that border Mexico. But if I were a dealer down there, I sure as hell would tow the line. What they say is the law IS the law unless you can stop them. One dealer ain't going to stop them. Or if he does, it will be AFTER he loses his license.

If a fella is not willing to follow the BATFE's rules he can just stay an unlicensed individual and tilt at all the windmills he wants. If he wants to try to earn a living as a gun dealer, he submits to the BATFE.

Facts of life, man.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 11:31:39 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:



Yes. I said that. As a practical matter it's absolutely true. Personally, I think it's illegal as hell that they are now requiring multiple sales forms for the purchase of two or more rifles in the states that border Mexico. But if I were a dealer down there, I sure as hell would tow the line. What they say is the law IS the law unless you can stop them. One dealer ain't going to stop them. Or if he does, it will be AFTER he loses his license.

If a fella is not willing to follow the BATFE's rules he can just stay an unlicensed individual and tilt at all the windmills he wants. If he wants to try to earn a living as a gun dealer, he submits to the BATFE.

Facts of life, man.
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
As to the legality of them scanning the forms . . . here's a couple of clues for you: 1.) they're doing it, and 2.) the BATFE issues inspectors the scanners. The BATFE's legal advisers must think they can do it. They may or may not be right but I can guarantee you one thing. I don't have the resources to challenge the practice and I doubt your buddy does either. If, like you say, they aren't after your friend, he'd be smart to give them what they want and let them do their scans.
BTW, if YOUR name is on one of the questioned forms, sucks to be you . . .

Holy shit man. "The BATFECES thinks it's legal, so it must be." You really just said that?



Yes. I said that. As a practical matter it's absolutely true. Personally, I think it's illegal as hell that they are now requiring multiple sales forms for the purchase of two or more rifles in the states that border Mexico. But if I were a dealer down there, I sure as hell would tow the line. What they say is the law IS the law unless you can stop them. One dealer ain't going to stop them. Or if he does, it will be AFTER he loses his license.

If a fella is not willing to follow the BATFE's rules he can just stay an unlicensed individual and tilt at all the windmills he wants. If he wants to try to earn a living as a gun dealer, he submits to the BATFE.

Facts of life, man.

Might does not, in theory, make legal. But fuck that constitution.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 1:08:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 1:08:31 PM EST by nehpets99]
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 1:27:56 PM EST
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Originally Posted By nehpets99:
If the ATF lawyers say "we've analyzed the law(s) and in our professional opinion it's legal", wtf is the lowly IOI gonna say? "No way, man, I didn't go to law school but you're totally wrong"?
If you ran a corporation and your attorneys said that something was legal, would you tell them to pound sand?
If you were under indictment and your attorney told you that you could legally do/not do something, would you ignore them?
This is why the government, corporations, and individuals pay attorneys--because attorneys have studied the law!
If you want to know if IOIs are in the practice of scanning 4473s and what happens to any documents they scan, why not call them?
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I understand that "I was only following orders." is now an accepted defense for federal employees. That does not make it right.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 2:02:43 PM EST
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Originally Posted By learath:

I understand that "I was only following orders." is now an accepted defense for federal employees. That does not make it right.
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Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By nehpets99:
If the ATF lawyers say "we've analyzed the law(s) and in our professional opinion it's legal", wtf is the lowly IOI gonna say? "No way, man, I didn't go to law school but you're totally wrong"?
If you ran a corporation and your attorneys said that something was legal, would you tell them to pound sand?
If you were under indictment and your attorney told you that you could legally do/not do something, would you ignore them?
This is why the government, corporations, and individuals pay attorneys--because attorneys have studied the law!
If you want to know if IOIs are in the practice of scanning 4473s and what happens to any documents they scan, why not call them?

I understand that "I was only following orders." is now an accepted defense for federal employees. That does not make it right.



So, you expect a bunch of bureaucrats to plant their flag over making copies? Is that the hill you think they're going to defend?

"It's wrong to make copies. We refuse!"

Really?
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 2:13:13 PM EST
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Originally Posted By learath:

Might does not, in theory, make legal. But fuck that constitution.
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Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
As to the legality of them scanning the forms . . . here's a couple of clues for you: 1.) they're doing it, and 2.) the BATFE issues inspectors the scanners. The BATFE's legal advisers must think they can do it. They may or may not be right but I can guarantee you one thing. I don't have the resources to challenge the practice and I doubt your buddy does either. If, like you say, they aren't after your friend, he'd be smart to give them what they want and let them do their scans.
BTW, if YOUR name is on one of the questioned forms, sucks to be you . . .

Holy shit man. "The BATFECES thinks it's legal, so it must be." You really just said that?



Yes. I said that. As a practical matter it's absolutely true. Personally, I think it's illegal as hell that they are now requiring multiple sales forms for the purchase of two or more rifles in the states that border Mexico. But if I were a dealer down there, I sure as hell would tow the line. What they say is the law IS the law unless you can stop them. One dealer ain't going to stop them. Or if he does, it will be AFTER he loses his license.

If a fella is not willing to follow the BATFE's rules he can just stay an unlicensed individual and tilt at all the windmills he wants. If he wants to try to earn a living as a gun dealer, he submits to the BATFE.

Facts of life, man.

Might does not, in theory, make legal. But fuck that constitution.
Silly argument. Being a FFL is nowhere to be found in the Constitution and the BATF is the agency tasked with approving and inspecting dealers. If the FFL is not required to allow the scanning that's fine, but if I were a license holder I'd be damn sure I was right before I refused the request.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 4:17:35 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ToyCop:
Silly argument. Being a FFL is nowhere to be found in the Constitution and the BATF is the agency tasked with approving and inspecting dealers. If the FFL is not required to allow the scanning that's fine, but if I were a license holder I'd be damn sure I was right before I refused the request.
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Originally Posted By ToyCop:
Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
As to the legality of them scanning the forms . . . here's a couple of clues for you: 1.) they're doing it, and 2.) the BATFE issues inspectors the scanners. The BATFE's legal advisers must think they can do it. They may or may not be right but I can guarantee you one thing. I don't have the resources to challenge the practice and I doubt your buddy does either. If, like you say, they aren't after your friend, he'd be smart to give them what they want and let them do their scans.
BTW, if YOUR name is on one of the questioned forms, sucks to be you . . .

Holy shit man. "The BATFECES thinks it's legal, so it must be." You really just said that?



Yes. I said that. As a practical matter it's absolutely true. Personally, I think it's illegal as hell that they are now requiring multiple sales forms for the purchase of two or more rifles in the states that border Mexico. But if I were a dealer down there, I sure as hell would tow the line. What they say is the law IS the law unless you can stop them. One dealer ain't going to stop them. Or if he does, it will be AFTER he loses his license.

If a fella is not willing to follow the BATFE's rules he can just stay an unlicensed individual and tilt at all the windmills he wants. If he wants to try to earn a living as a gun dealer, he submits to the BATFE.

Facts of life, man.

Might does not, in theory, make legal. But fuck that constitution.
Silly argument. Being a FFL is nowhere to be found in the Constitution and the BATF is the agency tasked with approving and inspecting dealers. If the FFL is not required to allow the scanning that's fine, but if I were a license holder I'd be damn sure I was right before I refused the request.


Ummm... it may not say "The ATF shall not maketh copies of 4473s" in the Constitution, but I submit that from an idealistic standpoint, it is shitting in the face of the Second Amendment for an FFL not to stand up for their (and our) rights pertaining to firearms, and from a LEGAL standpoint, there are absolutely laws on the books prohibiting creation of a gun registry. And what the fuck else would copying forms and especially Acquisition/Disposition sheets be considered?

All FFL's are in the business to make money. Apparently some also put their moral beliefs up there with their capitalist ones (and some, very apparently, do not).
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 4:22:51 PM EST
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:
Ummm... it may not say "The ATF shall not maketh copies of 4473s" in the Constitution, but I submit that from an idealistic standpoint, it is shitting in the face of the Second Amendment for an FFL not to stand up for their (and our) rights pertaining to firearms, and from a LEGAL standpoint, there are absolutely laws on the books prohibiting creation of a gun registry. And what the fuck else would copying forms and especially Acquisition/Disposition sheets be considered?
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Thanks for your expert legal opinion. It was worth what we paid for it. The NFA Branch is amused by your claims it is against the law to have a gun registry. Perhaps you do not know as much about the law as you think.....
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 4:23:04 PM EST
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:

Ummm... it may not say "The ATF shall not maketh copies of 4473s" in the Constitution, but I submit that from an idealistic standpoint, it is shitting in the face of the Second Amendment for an FFL not to stand up for their (and our) rights pertaining to firearms, and from a LEGAL standpoint, there are absolutely laws on the books prohibiting creation of a gun registry. And what the fuck else would copying forms and especially Acquisition/Disposition sheets be considered?

All FFL's are in the business to make money. Apparently some also put their moral beliefs up there with their capitalist ones (and some, very apparently, do not).
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Error checking. I would understand denial if they wanted to scan everything, but scanning a percentage for further review would make sense to me. I'd rather have them review them on their time outside of the shop than sit there all day wasting my time. Not sure too many FFLs would be willing to foot the legal bills on such a challenge.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 4:52:42 PM EST
First off, not every IOI's in ATF is issued a portable scanner.

Second, the only reason any forms or A & D book pages should be copied is as evidence of a violation.
If IOI's are just making copies of everything for no reason, go over their heads and contact their Area Supervisor to
find out why the copies are being made.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 4:54:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 4:56:19 PM EST by sawgunner73]
Double tap
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 4:59:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 5:06:05 PM EST by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:


Ummm... it may not say "The ATF shall not maketh copies of 4473s" in the Constitution, but I submit that from an idealistic standpoint, it is shitting in the face of the Second Amendment for an FFL not to stand up for their (and our) rights pertaining to firearms, and from a LEGAL standpoint, there are absolutely laws on the books prohibiting creation of a gun registry. And what the fuck else would copying forms and especially Acquisition/Disposition sheets be considered?

All FFL's are in the business to make money. Apparently some also put their moral beliefs up there with their capitalist ones (and some, very apparently, do not).
View Quote



Moral beliefs? What is immoral about sharing a federal form with the federal agency that created the form and requires that it be filled out?

What rights do you believe are being violated, exactly? You said that the inspectors did not want to copy all of your buddy's 4473s but that they had a list of specific forms they wanted. Is that suggestive of a national registry or something else?

Is it your contention that when a person enters a licensed gun shop and fills out a 4473 they have no expectation that the information on the form will be shared with the federal government or that the government might actually receive a copy of it? Do you think that most customers believe that the 4473 is just something the dealer does for his own amusement?

Link Posted: 8/22/2013 5:04:36 PM EST
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Originally Posted By sawgunner73:
First off, not every IOI's in ATF is issued a portable scanner.

Second, the only reason any forms or A & D book pages should be copied is as evidence of a violation.
If IOI's are just making copies of everything for no reason, go over their heads and contact their Area Supervisor to
find out why the copies are being made.
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Originally Posted By sawgunner73:
First off, not every IOI's in ATF is issued a portable scanner.

Second, the only reason any forms or A & D book pages should be copied is as evidence of a violation.
If IOI's are just making copies of everything for no reason, go over their heads and contact their Area Supervisor to
find out why the copies are being made.



THis is what the OP said on the first page . . .

As far as the FACTS go, it was an IO investigation, with a plain old apparatchik investigator, not a special agent. There were no warrants. The Buch of Assholes That Fuck Everyone had the names of a few people they were specifically interested in, but again, no warrants. And they didn't cite him for any issues. Zero issues with a couple thousand forms.


Doesn't sound like they were just making copies of everything for no reason . . .
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 6:48:42 PM EST
So, serious question for the boot lickers:
Do you believe
1. the ATF is allowed to make a database of 4473s?
2. the ATF has not been caught trying to make a database of 4473s and shut down for it?
3. that #2 has only happened once?
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 7:28:29 PM EST
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Originally Posted By learath:
So, serious question for the boot lickers:
Do you believe
1. the ATF is allowed to make a database of 4473s?
2. the ATF has not been caught trying to make a database of 4473s and shut down for it?
3. that #2 has only happened once?
View Quote



FWIW, I believe a national gun registry is illegal. That does not mean that an inspector copying a few 4473s is tantamount to a national registry.

Link Posted: 8/22/2013 7:47:48 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:

FWIW, I believe a national gun registry is illegal. That does not mean that an inspector copying a few 4473s is tantamount to a national registry.
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By learath:
So, serious question for the boot lickers:
Do you believe
1. the ATF is allowed to make a database of 4473s?
2. the ATF has not been caught trying to make a database of 4473s and shut down for it?
3. that #2 has only happened once?

FWIW, I believe a national gun registry is illegal. That does not mean that an inspector copying a few 4473s is tantamount to a national registry.

The way they were doing it in AK was "copy the entire bound book". Sounds like they were doing the same thing here.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 3:00:52 AM EST
What rights do you believe are being violated, exactly? You said that the inspectors did not want to copy all of your buddy's 4473s but that they had a list of specific forms they wanted. Is that suggestive of a national registry or something else?
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Doesn't sound like they were just making copies of everything for no reason . . .
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The way they were doing it in AK was "copy the entire bound book". Sounds like they were doing the same thing here.
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That's what they were TRYING to do.

Bladeswitcher, if you had read the original post...

One of my local, small FFL's is extremely pro-2A. During his recent Industry Operations Investigation (audit), he took the stance with the BATFE agents that scanning (with their "magic wand" portable scanners) any pages in his books (either 4473s or Acquisition / Disposition pages) that were not part of an investigation or evidence of an illegal act was in and of itself, illegal. They kept trying, and he kept refusing. They threatened, cajoled, tried to trick, etc., but he didn't budge. It was left that they would be back in a couple of weeks with administrative warrants. He DID NOT keep them from viewing anything, and any page that was part of an active investigation was allowed to be scanned (except that he would not allow them to scan the entire A/D pages).
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He allowed them to scan the pages of people that they had on their "interest list". I'm referring to scanning pages willy-nilly.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 3:35:48 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/23/2013 3:36:56 AM EST by Bladeswitcher]
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Originally Posted By theautobahn:

Bladeswitcher, if you had read the original post...

He allowed them to scan the pages of people that they had on their "interest list". I'm referring to scanning pages willy-nilly.
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I still suspect there's more going on here with your buddy than you know or understand. You weren't there. I wasn't there. We, presumably, only know what your buddy told you. I suspect he didn't tell you the whole story.

In either case, I'm not sure I see the issue. Probably 95 percent of people who fill out a 4473 assume that the government knows what gun they're buying anyway. In my experience, you can't convince most people otherwise . . . . even if you do a call-in NICS check and they stand there listening to you and no brand, model, caliber or serial number information is provided . . . I can't count the number of people who say something to the effect of "this gun is registered to me . . . "

Bottom line: if you play inside the BATFE's playground (licensed dealers, 4473s, NICS checks, etc.) you play by their rules. If you don't want the government to know what's on THEIR FORM, don't fill one out. Buy from your buddy or from a collector at a gun show. If you buy a gun from a licensed gun dealer it is unreasonable to expect that the government won't have access to that dealer's records. And yes, that includes them scanning 4473 forms.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 7:05:01 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
I still suspect there's more going on here with your buddy than you know or understand.
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And you'd be right. The ATF is, once again, for the who knows how manyth time, assembling a database of all gunowners in the USA, with the full backing of the DOJ and the Administration. Why does this seem unlikely to you?
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 7:46:57 AM EST
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Originally Posted By learath:

And you'd be right. The ATF is, once again, for the who knows how manyth time, assembling a database of all gunowners in the USA, with the full backing of the DOJ and the Administration. Why does this seem unlikely to you?
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Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
I still suspect there's more going on here with your buddy than you know or understand.

And you'd be right. The ATF is, once again, for the who knows how manyth time, assembling a database of all gunowners in the USA, with the full backing of the DOJ and the Administration. Why does this seem unlikely to you?


Where is this database centralized at? Where are all of the 4473 copies being held at?

Do you really beleive that during every compliance inspection of every FFL in the country, that the ATF is copying every 4473 and every page of the A&D books?
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 7:51:36 AM EST
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:


Copiers runs on electricity.
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Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
Originally Posted By maggiethecat:
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I know one FFL who had the power turned off during his inspection.


meaning?


Copiers runs on electricity.


I know a dealer that had a cunt for an inspector... She asked for a chair to sit and was given a chair that hurts so bad to sit in I think it was made in a torture prison!!!
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 8:13:54 AM EST
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Originally Posted By sawgunner73:

Where is this database centralized at? Where are all of the 4473 copies being held at?
Do you really beleive that during every compliance inspection of every FFL in the country, that the ATF is copying every 4473 and every page of the A&D books?
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Originally Posted By sawgunner73:
Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
I still suspect there's more going on here with your buddy than you know or understand.

And you'd be right. The ATF is, once again, for the who knows how manyth time, assembling a database of all gunowners in the USA, with the full backing of the DOJ and the Administration. Why does this seem unlikely to you?

Where is this database centralized at? Where are all of the 4473 copies being held at?
Do you really beleive that during every compliance inspection of every FFL in the country, that the ATF is copying every 4473 and every page of the A&D books?

Right now? Of course not.
Over the next 10 years? Sure. 4473s are *TINY*, a database of all of them is a few hundred gig at most, and this has been a long term goal for the ATF.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 11:28:45 AM EST
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Originally Posted By learath:

And you'd be right. The ATF is, once again, for the who knows how manyth time, assembling a database of all gunowners in the USA, with the full backing of the DOJ and the Administration. Why does this seem unlikely to you?
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Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
I still suspect there's more going on here with your buddy than you know or understand.

And you'd be right. The ATF is, once again, for the who knows how manyth time, assembling a database of all gunowners in the USA, with the full backing of the DOJ and the Administration. Why does this seem unlikely to you?


Oh, I don't know . . .
Maybe because I've talked to a bunch of FFLs who have never had an inspection or had them so far apart that any database that would come from scanning 4473s would be woefully out of date.
Maybe because the BATFE still has to do traces to know how guns changed hands.
Maybe because it would be a lot simpler to just change the law so that FFLs had to send their 4473s into the BATF on a regular schedule.
Maybe because any such database would be thwarted by all the private transfers that take place every day.
Maybe because knowing what particular guns a person has isn't necessary for a government confiscation effort. The NICS check is all the government would need to know which houses to go to if they want to find guns . . .



Link Posted: 8/23/2013 11:44:46 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:


Oh, I don't know . . .
Maybe because I've talked to a bunch of FFLs who have never had an inspection or had them so far apart that any database that would come from scanning 4473s would be woefully out of date.
Maybe because the BATFE still has to do traces to know how guns changed hands.
Maybe because it would be a lot simpler to just change the law so that FFLs had to send their 4473s into the BATF on a regular schedule.
Maybe because any such database would be thwarted by all the private transfers that take place every day.
Maybe because knowing what particular guns a person has isn't necessary for a government confiscation effort. The NICS check is all the government would need to know which houses to go to if they want to find guns . . .
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Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
Originally Posted By learath:
Originally Posted By Bladeswitcher:
I still suspect there's more going on here with your buddy than you know or understand.

And you'd be right. The ATF is, once again, for the who knows how manyth time, assembling a database of all gunowners in the USA, with the full backing of the DOJ and the Administration. Why does this seem unlikely to you?


Oh, I don't know . . .
Maybe because I've talked to a bunch of FFLs who have never had an inspection or had them so far apart that any database that would come from scanning 4473s would be woefully out of date.
Maybe because the BATFE still has to do traces to know how guns changed hands.
Maybe because it would be a lot simpler to just change the law so that FFLs had to send their 4473s into the BATF on a regular schedule.
Maybe because any such database would be thwarted by all the private transfers that take place every day.
Maybe because knowing what particular guns a person has isn't necessary for a government confiscation effort. The NICS check is all the government would need to know which houses to go to if they want to find guns . . .

Ok, so why do they keep doing it?
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