Republican Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) has exposed the Biden administration’s unconstitutional efforts to harass American gun owners as their all out assault on the Second Amendment continues.
Ernst wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ (ATF) investigation of potential straw purchases, or when one person buys a gun on behalf of someone else.
Ernst raised deep concerns over a fury of recent reports and videos depicting the ATF harassing or even intimidating gun purchasers.
The reports have suggested that ATF agents are actively engaged in “knock and talk” investigations, which they are using to try and trick American citizens into divulging information which the agency otherwise would have no right to know.
In the letter to Garland, Ernst wrote, “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.’”
Ernst further demanded to know the criteria ATF uses to establish probable cause before the “knock and talks,” if the ATF obtains warrants for these visits, the number of visits conducted with a warrant, and if a warrant is not used, then what legal basis they have to ensure citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights are protected.
In one particular example of the ATF’s overreach, an inspector from the agency was caught on video taking pictures of Black Metal Firearms’ company documents which contained gun buyer’s personal info.
Black Metal Firearms owner David Nagel said that the ATF Inspector Pamela Scott began conducting a routine review, but things quickly went sideways when she started taking photos of the shop’s detailed sales records — including the identities of every gun buyer.
Nagel said he confronted Scott and even asked if she was “creating a registry,” by collecting the personal information of his customers.
“No, that would be illegal,” she quickly responded.
Nagel added that when he told Scott that his customers would not be comfortable with her collecting their information she said, “well, it sounds like your customers are just being paranoid. Maybe I should look into them a little bit more.”
Nagel even said that the ATF agents slammed a couple of his customers as “gun nuts,” suggesting she had taken issue with the number of guns these Americans were legally purchasing.
This sort of disdain for the average American is just an example of what we’re up against as the Biden administration continues to green light federal agencies to trample on our rights.