Agents of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives began asking gun dealers on Alaska to open their files to the BATFE (which is known to gun owners by its old acronym, BATF). The dealers refused to cooperate.
The region’s Congressman got word of this and sent the head of the BATF a scorching letter. The BATF has no authority to do this, he said. You can read the letter here.
The head of the BATF made the usual response of a bureaucrat whose agency gets caught in something blatantly illegal. “Oh, gee, how did this happen? I never authorized this. Gosh, all whillakers, it will never happen again.” The Congressman seems to have bought it, hook line and sinker. Here is his press release for the folks back home. (Well, something is better than nothing . . . until next time.)
Following up on a letter he sent demanding answers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regarding ATF agents inquiring about gun store records, Alaskan Congressman Don Young met with ATF Deputy Director Tom Brandon today. The letter, sent on April 24, called on the ATF to explain why its agents had been visiting Alaskan gun dealers and asking for copies of their gun sale records.
“I requested today’s meeting because the idea of any government agency having a centralized database of gun sale records is very troubling to me,” said Rep. Young. “During today’s meeting Deputy Director Brandon assured me that this is not an accepted practice at the ATF and that they are looking to remedy the situation to ensure it, or anything like it, never happens again in the future. There will also be a seminar held in the near future for Alaskan Federal Firearms Licensees in which I have requested the ATF listen and work with Alaskan gun shop owners to make sure their questions are answered and all of their concerns are heard.”
“Looking to the future, I am hopeful that ATF has gotten the message that hassling gun shops for copies of their records is absolutely unacceptable to me and quite frankly illegal. While I take the ATF at their word that this was an isolated incident and is not ATF policy, I will be working to ensure gun sale records remain with the gun shop and not the federal government in some database.”
For more information on what the BATF did, click the link.