Under the guise of investigating straw purchases, the ATF is now harassing legal firearm owners via warrantless knock and talk inspections. In essence, if you buy more than one gun, you will have ATF officers knocking on your front door. This has Klickitat County, Washington Sheriff Bob Songer telling his residents to send the ATF packing.
Knock and Talk Inspections Are Becoming a Real Concern
Don’t get us wrong, straw purchases are not ok. We are against firearms getting into the hands of criminals as well. However, even less ok is President Biden’s ATF using this as a smokescreen to perform warrantless firearm inspections. This is still the United States of America, and we still have a Fourth Amendment right against illegal search and seizure.
Federal law enforcement is not above the law or the Constitution. Just like local police officers, they have to obtain a search warrant to perform any kind of search. But that isn’t stopping the ATF from using knock and talk techniques to inspect firearms—with no criminal activity evident. This has some in government and law enforcement apprehensive.
According to a letter to AG Merrick Garland, from Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), “In all of the ‘knock and talk’ incidents brought to my attention, none involved the presentation of a warrant. Simultaneously, multiple ATF agents, dressed in official ATF gear—including bulletproof vests—did not inform the resident purchaser of the optional nature of his or her participation in brandishing the requested firearm. The combination of these factors calls into question whether the ATF’s actions are meant to harass or coerce firearm purchasers into, at best, legally questionable ‘investigations.’”
The letter goes on to question the legitimacy of these knock and talk visits. Likewise, Ernst demands to know the criteria used to establish probable cause and whether warrants are obtained.
But she’s not the only one addressing this. A Washington county Sheriff is also speaking out.
Sheriff Suggests Telling ATF Agents to Leave
Klickitat County, Washington Sheriff Bob Songer is not having these illegal interactions in his county. In fact, he tells residents that if ATF agents knock on the door and it isn’t a consensual encounter, tell them to leave. Although he states that interactions of this kind haven’t occurred in his county yet, he’s getting out ahead of it.
Washington Times reports, “Sheriff Songer, who is running for reelection to a third term in office, said 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.”
Songer goes on to say that if the agents refuse to leave, they are trespassing. As a result, he says to call him, and he will make contact with the agents. And, if they still refuse to leave, he will personally arrest them for Criminal Trespass and book them. According to Songer, these surprise visits are nothing more than a fishing expedition to see what guns you have.
Regarding repercussions from the federal government:
“I really don’t care what the FBI or the ATF or the Biden administration has to say. One thing about an elected chair, his only boss is the people that elect him — not the county commissioners, not the governor, not the city, state attorney general, not the president or anyone,” he said. “So, I don’t really worry too much about what they have to say.”
If the ATF isn’t careful, there might be videos coming out of Klickitat County, like this one from Columbus, Ohio:
Remember, the ATF is not above the law and does not supersede your constitutional Second Amendment rights.