According to recently published documents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, the agency recently confiscated literally truckloads of firearms from the collection of gun industry legend and cornerstone Larry Vickers (.pdf).
Many of the guns are irreplaceable historical firearms that Vickers personally documented for his collector’s guides. While many of the guns appear to be NFA-regulated, the list includes many that may not be which raises questions about what’s going on.
Multiple sources are saying that this is the result of Vickers letting his Special Occupational Tax payment lapse, which would explain why the ATF confiscated the NFA-regulated guns.
However, among the many, many machineguns, there are a few rifles and receivers, which may or may not be NFA-regulated, which raises additional questions. So far, Vickers has not given a statement about the seizures.
Vickers has been quietly fighting cancer and recently transferred and sold a portion of his gun collection. Many of the guns the ATF confiscated are valued at $1,000, which doesn’t reflect their true value.
Some of the guns on the list are essentially priceless museum pieces, historically relevant and impossible to replace. The raid happened in Huntersville, North Carolina, with the notification posted last week.
A U.S. Army veteran and experienced Delta Force member, Vickers later turned teacher and historian, training shooters of all experience levels and documenting famous and infamous arms alike. Vickers fought in Operation Desert Storm, participating in Operation Acid Gambit, earning a Bronze Star with V for Valor.
He would go on to work with Heckler & Koch to help with the development of the HK416 and HK45. His series of reference books are collectively called the “Vickers Guide.”
It’s not clear if Vickers is challenging these seizures or if he’s resigned to let them go. Vickers has yet to make a statement on the issue. We’ll keep you posted as more news develops.