As you are probably aware, our friends at the ATF have been busy little elves this holiday season. First they raided Polymer80 because they’ve decided that their Buy Build Shoot all-in-one 80% frame pistol build kit should now be considered a complete firearm. They reportedly confiscated customer lists.
Yesterday came news that BATFE sent their flying monkeys to Diversified Machine, makers of Form 1-ready suppressor kits. They reportedly confiscated everything, including customer lists.
There have also been reports of the ATF knocking on a few customers’ doors, looking for some of these items sold to retail customers. The question then becomes, if the ATF is at your door, and they’re asking you to surrender your property, what should you do?
Richard Hayes, an attorney with Walker & Taylor, suggests handling such a situation this way:
If you find yourself with ATF agents or law enforcement at your doorstep demanding to search or seize your gun collection, be polite, but don’t waive your rights. If they have a warrant, that’s one thing, but if not, say, ‘I want to help as much as possible, but have to speak to an attorney first.’
Do not consent to a search or seizure. The next step is critical; you should consult with an attorney immediately.
Got it? If they don’t have a warrant, don’t let anyone into your home, even if they flash a badge. Then get on the phone to your attorney as soon as possible.
If the people at your door have a warrant and confiscate any of your property, attorney Joshua Prince adds this:
Be aware that the agent may attempt to have you sign an ATF 3400.1 Form – Consent to Forfeiture or Destruction of Property and Waiver of Notice – which you should NOT sign under ANY circumstance. In the event that they ask you to sign an ATF 3400.1, inform them that the only ATF form you are willing to sign is an ATF 3400.23 – Receipt of Property and Other Items, as the ATF 3400.23 does not contain language, wherein you agree to the forfeiture/destruction of your property.
Prince also suggests taking photos of any items confiscated by the ATF. If you don’t already have a relationship with an attorney, there’s no better time to take care of that than now.