A Washington State sheriff Friday advised residents in his county that if agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) come to their homes without a search warrant asking to inspect their firearms, they can tell them to leave their property.
Klickitat County Sheriff Bob Songer, in a press statement, said that agents are “making surprise home visits of persons who have purchased two or more firearms at one time. To my knowledge, these ATF visits have not occurred in Washington State yet.”
Mr. Songer says that if residents are contacted by an ATF agent or any other federal agent, lacking a search warrant to inspect firearms they have purchased, residents do not have to cooperate with the authorities and should contact his office if the agents refuse to leave their property.
“Ask the agents to show you their Search Warrant to inspect your firearms. The Warrant must be signed by a Judge,” Mr. Songer said. “Ask them if the Sheriff is aware of them contacting people in our County.”
The Sheriff then suggests telling the agents to leave the property. If they refuse, “they are trespassing,” and to call the Klickitat County Sheriff and report the incident, which could lead to the arrest of the federal agents.
“If the ATF agents do not have a search warrant signed by a judge, and you have told them to leave your property and they refuse to do so, call me, and I will make contact with the agents,” Mr. Songer says. “If they still refuse to leave, I will personally arrest the ATF agents for Criminal Trespass and book them into the Klickitat County Jail.”
“In my opinion, these surprise visits by ATF Agents are nothing more than a fishing expedition to see what guns you have in your possession,” Mr. Songer said in his press release. “I believe this type of conduct by the ATF Agents is an infringement of your 2nd Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution and the Washington State Constitution.”
“They are looking for ‘STRAW PURCHASES’ in which a legal gun buyer purchases two or more firearms, and then gives/sells it to someone who cannot pass a legal gun purchase ATF Form 4473 background check,” he said. “It appears at this time, ATF Agents are making surprise home visits along the I-95 corridor in the States of Indiana, Nevada and Arizona, and Biden’s home state of Delaware.”
Mr. Songer’s press release came out one day after a recent doorbell video recording from a Delaware resident showing ATF agents and a state police trooper asking a legal firearm owner for his weapons’ serial numbers without a warrant.
The video, which the ATF defended as “entirely appropriate,” caused an uproar among Second Amendment advocacy organizations, including Gun Owners of America (GOA), which said the U.S. “background check system has turned into a de facto registry, allowing the federal government to check up on who owns what firearms because of the ATF unlawful actions.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale, Montana Republican, called for an investigation into the incident, saying that he fears “that there will be more illegal inspections to come as the Left continues its assault on our 2nd Amendment rights. Congress should investigate this immediately.”