Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

In Border States, BATFE Asks: "May We See Your Guns?"

Friday, June 19, 2009

NRA-ILA has recently received several calls from NRA members in border states who have been visited or called by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  In some cases, agents have asked to enter these people's homes, and requested serial numbers of all firearms the members possess. 

In each case, the agents were making inquiries based on the number of firearms these NRA members had recently bought, and in some cases the agents said they were asking because the members had bought types of guns that are frequently recovered in Mexico. 

This kind of questioning may or may not be part of a legitimate criminal investigation.  For example, when BATFE traces a gun seized after use in a crime, manufacturers' and dealers' records will normally lead to the first retail buyer of that gun, and investigators will have to interview the buyer to find out how the gun ended up in criminal hands.  But in other cases, the questioning may simply be based on information in dealers' records, with agents trying to "profile" potentially suspicious purchases. 

On the other hand, some of the agents have used heavy-handed tactics.  One reportedly demanded that a gun owner return home early from a business trip, while another threatened to "report" an NRA member as "refusing to cooperate."  That kind of behavior is outrageous and unprofessional. 

Whether agents act appropriately or not, concerned gun owners should remember that all constitutional protections apply.  Answering questions in this type of investigation is generally an individual choice.  Most importantly, there are only a few relatively rare exceptions to the general Fourth Amendment requirement that law enforcement officials need a warrant to enter a home without the residents' consent.  There is nothing wrong with politely, but firmly, asserting your rights. 

If BATFE contacts you and you have any question about how to respond, you may want to consult a local attorney.  NRA members may also call NRA-ILA's Office of Legislative Counsel at (703) 267-1161 for further information.  Whether contacting a local attorney or NRA, be sure to provide as many details as possible, including the date, time, and location, agent's name, and specific questions asked.

 

TRENDING NOW
Indiana: Important Self-Defense Bill Passes Legislature, On to Governor

Monday, April 22, 2019

Indiana: Important Self-Defense Bill Passes Legislature, On to Governor

On April 22nd, both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly voted to concur with the amendments made to House Bill 1284 during the conference committee process.  HB 1284 has been amended to now include many ...

News  

Monday, April 22, 2019

With Proposed Federal Legislation, Anti-gun Advocates Seek to Impose May-Issue Gun Ownership

In 1987, only ten states had concealed carry laws that treated the Right-to-Carry in a manner consistent with our constitutional right to bear arms. Understanding that the whims and prejudices of government officials are incompatible ...

Nevada: Gun Control Bills Pass Assembly

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Nevada: Gun Control Bills Pass Assembly

On April 23rd, the Nevada Assembly voted to pass Assembly Bill 291 and Assembly Bill 153.   AB 291 and AB 153 have been transmitted to the Senate and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee for ...

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Thursday, April 18, 2019

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Today, the California Department of Justice issued a “Notice of Modification” to their proposed regulations regarding the soon to be implemented ammunition background check procedures. As a result of these changes, a second 15-day public ...

President to Speak at 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 26

News  

Monday, April 22, 2019

President to Speak at 148th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 26

President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will address NRA members at the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) Leadership Forum on Friday, April 26, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The complete list of ...

New York Times Admits Privately-Funded “Gun Violence” Research is a Thing

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

New York Times Admits Privately-Funded “Gun Violence” Research is a Thing

The New York Times – the “paper of record” – reports that “Gun Research is Suddenly Hot.” While we’re happy to see the Times has finally acknowledged that “gun research” can survive federal restrictions on taxpayer funded gun control ...

Heeee’s Baaack: Bill Clinton Peddles Gun Control on a Wish and a Lie

News  

Friday, April 19, 2019

Heeee’s Baaack: Bill Clinton Peddles Gun Control on a Wish and a Lie

Proving there is no statute of limitations on political opportunism, this week former President Bill Clinton used the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Littleton, Colo. to pen an op-ed pushing ...

NRA Supporting Challenge to Washington State Release of Gun Owner's Private Data

News  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

NRA Supporting Challenge to Washington State Release of Gun Owner's Private Data

The NRA is supporting a challenge to Washington State's plan to release names and addresses of those who participated in the state’s bump stock buy-back program.  

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Maine: Firearm Seizure Bill Heads To Judiciary Committee

On April 22nd, the Maine Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Legislative Document 1312, which would allow for firearms to be seized and Second Amendment rights to be suspended without due process. 

California: Legislature Returns from Spring Break

Sunday, April 21, 2019

California: Legislature Returns from Spring Break

The California Legislature returns from spring recess this week and seven different committees are considering bills that could impact your rights. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.