ATF Director Using 18th Century Tech to Salvage Agency’s Shattered Reputation

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ATF Director Using 18th Century Tech to Salvage Agency’s Shattered Reputation
ATF Director Steve Dettelbach (Photo: Fox News)

By Lee Williams

The ATF has beclowned itself yet again.

Last month, when the agency sent Special Agents Larry, Moe and Shemp to the home of a law-abiding Delaware gun owner, without a search warrant, with orders to inspect his guns without letting constitutional rights get in their way, they should have been prepared for some blowback.

We certainly were when we broke the story. However, no one could have predicted the magnitude of the boom, because the entire “voluntary interview” as ATF later called it, was captured on video.

Now, the whole country is talking about ATF’s surprise raid, what it says about the agency and the constitutional violations that were aplenty. Once again, ATF has become a laughingstock – the butt of a hundred jokes. Once again, the agency has resecured its position as the pariah of federal law enforcement.

The post-raid chatter got so loud, ATF’s newly minted director, Steve Dettelbach, had to try to salvage at least a small piece of his new agency’s tarnished reputation. After all, he started on the very day los tres idiotas were begging and pleading for just a peek at a serial number or two.

Dettelbach had to reassure Joe, Kamala, Gabby and the others who put him in charge, that he was a real leader. He had to tamp down the laughter and stop the chatter. So, what did he do? He sent in the pamphleteers, of course.

VIDEO: Show Me Your Guns! ATF Surprises Homeowner w/ Warrantless Firearm Inspection

Dettelbach chose a Virginia gun show as the site for his first-ever public relations campaign. He issued seven-year-old flyers titled “ATF Myths – Not everything you hear is true” to a team of handpicked staffers, whom he ordered to circulate and make nice-nice with the gun owners attending the show.

To be clear, ATF’s flyers are chock-full of lies and half-truths. NRA already published a vicious point-by-point analysis of their content, which they called “Busting ATF’s ‘Myth’-Busting.” The piece is about as subtle as a sucking chest wound, and it shoots Dettelbach’s PR campaign down in flames.

My question to Dettelbach, should he ever learn how to pick up a phone and return a call, is why pamphlets? Did he not want to reach more than 50 people?

The first American newspaper, Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, was published in 1690, and we’ve been mass communicating ever since. If he is really interested in discussing what happened, all he has to do is call. The word will certainly get out.

The conduct of Dettelbach’s agents raises serious questions and concerns: Are these warrantless home invasions going to continue? What are the agents’ rules of conduct? What happens if a home owner refuses to comply? And why isn’t anyone willing to talk about them – what are they hiding? These questions need to be answered before someone gets hurt.

You can tell a lot about a leader based on how they react when their people screw up – especially if they make national news. Right now, all we’re getting from ATF’s newest director are dusty handbills and unreturned phone calls.

Dettelbach owes the public answers. He works for us, after all. He may be a good leader. ATF could certainly use one. Unfortunately, right now it appears he is more interested in shielding his agents from public scrutiny, rather than the unconstitutionality of their actions, or our right to feel secure in our homes.  

Did you like this story? It comes courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Thank them today with a tax-deductible donation!

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  • Angry American January 25, 2023, 6:27 am

    I had a similar incident where during a compliance inspection an atf field supervisor with an axe to grind noticed I had a stack-on locked cabinet in the corner of the room, I explained it was there waiting for a replacement key because I lost the original and even after I picked it up and turned it over to show it was empty, he had to see for himself and destroyed it with a hammer and a crow bar to “see” for himself that it was empty. He claimed that because it was in my licensed premises, he could do that..

  • Hondo August 9, 2022, 11:16 am

    ATF is another alphabet agency that needs to abolished, they work against the citizens just like the FBI, abolish and start over .

  • Ken August 7, 2022, 12:07 pm

    Is there any doubt that ATF’s mission is to stop the spread of civilian firearm ownership in our country?

    The answer is a clear NO.

    But… if any one of you had had the opportunity to attend a civics class while in eighth grade (as did my generation, I am 75) or bothered to educate yourselves on the Fourth Amendment… you would not even have opened the door to the three ATF agents.

    “Knock and talk searches” were approved by SCOTUS as a valid law enforcement tool in the war on drugs.
    That LE tool is now being used against law abiding gun owners.

    We cheered when it was used against suspected drug dealers… now it is used against 2A proponents.

    Know this: You don’t have to open the door to LE. You don’t have to talk to them. You don’t have to consent to a search of you, your vehicle or your premises.

    Don’t be rude… and to quote Nancy Reagan, “Just say no.”

    There is no 2A without 4A.

    43 years in criminal defense.

  • CGA August 5, 2022, 12:12 pm

    This Dettelbach POS is as bad or worse than Biden’s other pick for ATF director. He will probably do anything he can to take away your guns (legally or illegally). They don’t care how they do it, just that it gets done so they can take over the country with little or no resistance. The saying “A people fear the government, it’s called tyranny; when government fears the people, it’s called freedom.” is still as true today as when it was first said. If they come to your house without a warrant tell them to f#$k off and get off your land.

    • Grumpy Old Biker May 8, 2023, 12:30 pm

      That’s a stupid suggestion. You’re much better off: (1) not answering the door at all; or, if you do answer it, (2) being polite and saying, “No, thanks. I do not give permission.” By acting like and idiot on a (temporary) power trip, and cursing and acting like you think you’re a tough guy, you are only asking to become their next “project”.

  • Ima Enyurphase August 5, 2022, 11:20 am

    So is this the new norm? If say you buy multiple item’s at a Walmart, will someone from the government show up to see if it was a straw purchase or you are a hoarder? Tell government snooper’s to F.O. “Resist, defy, do not comply”.

  • JonsOn August 5, 2022, 10:50 am

    With the ATF sending agents door to door looking for straw gun purchasers their reputation will only get worse. There is video of ATF agents going to a private citizen’s door who had purchased 2 or more guns and asking him to show the guns to the agents. First off this seems very un-constitutional. I’ve never heard of the feds knocking on someone’s door asking to see something they purchased. It’s none of their fricking business. For this the ATF needs to be shuttered (along with most other federal agencies not listed in the Constitution). Secondly who told these agents to do this? I’m sure that Joke Biden is all on board but it is not something the ATF should be doing. We need to trim this federal beast back to where it should be. That means get rid of at least 90% of the current federal government!

  • William Hodge August 5, 2022, 10:45 am

    I saw the video on Newsmax and it was disgusting. The ATF badgered the homeowner and attempted to get him to incriminate himself by showing them his guns. I wish he would have told them to piss straight up.

  • Jerry August 5, 2022, 10:41 am

    Och, bluey laddie, dinna ye fellow communards have you-tube? Its been on there for like 10 days now, so old its no news anymore. O course, we’re familiar with the fact that ye’re no relevant nor rational, we now see ye’re no current, even if, like trump, ye heve somebody else type up yer missives to distract the snoopers. Stay entertaining, please, we’re for liking of the laughing at such as ye. Meanwhile, back in the 21st century…..

    • Blue Dog (he/him) August 5, 2022, 4:19 pm

      Jerry, I think you have some solid thoughts but it is hard to follow. This madman’s brogue is almost gibberish! The sort of thing that too much IRN BRU will do to youse.

  • Wade August 5, 2022, 8:51 am

    Blue Dog, If you look at most any gun site or message board you’ll find the video. It did make the news on a couple of larger, non-left leaning, news shows.

    If you have time to be on here, you have time to watch the news.

    • Hondo August 6, 2022, 2:25 pm

      Why would he/she do that ? bluedouche it/clown is only here to troll.

  • Scott August 5, 2022, 8:46 am

    BATF agents did not conduct a warrantless search. Everybody needs to get a grip on their mouths on this topic. I saw the video, and with one exception, ATF agents did not do anything illegal or unjust. Anyone can come to your door, unless you have posted your property per state laws for trespass. The video did not show any posting of that nature. Second, anyone can ask you a question, no matter how offensive it might be, that’s 1A territory – asking to see your guns could be considered protected political speech. The only problem I had with the law enforcement officers was they were commanded to leave the property and they did not comply. Their persistence to stay after having received a lawful command by the occupant of the land to leave constitutes trespass and they should be charged with this offense, but that’s it

    • Grumpy Old Biker May 8, 2023, 12:34 pm

      Federal agents, even ATF agents (there is no such thing as the “BATF”) are not required to obey “no trespassing” signs or such laws while engaged in their duties. They have to have a legal right to be somewhere but they sure don’t have to obey stupid little signs like that.

  • Hondo August 5, 2022, 8:15 am

    Just keep your head firmly planted up your rectum bluedouche it/clown so you can remain clueless as usual.

  • Blue Dog (he/him) August 4, 2022, 9:25 pm

    The whole country is talking about this? This website is specifically the only place I have seen this news story. But I am behind on listening to some radio programs that I regularly listen to. Maybe Kane can fill me in?

    • The Patriot August 5, 2022, 7:55 am

      listen to blueballs over here,no a clue what he’s talking about,but still spews his ATF fanboy crap,gotta be pretty sad to be an old tard with no friends and nothing to do but bitch,

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