A Republican state Representative in Oklahoma is calling for the arrest and prosecution of agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), after the home of a federal firearms license (FFL) holder in Tuskahoma, Oklahoma, was raided on June 16 and 50 of his guns were confiscated.
State Rep. Justin Humphrey (R-Lane) filed a probable cause affidavit with Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond asking that he investigate the ATF agents for, among other charges, extortion, terroristic threats, and misuse of their authority as law enforcement officials, The Epoch Times reports.
“When you abuse your law enforcement position, I think you ought to be arrested,” Humphrey told the outlet.
ATF agents descended on the home of Russell Fincher and told him he was being “detained.”
They questioned him about a gun he had traded legally some years prior after the weapon resurfaced at a California crime scene.
As the original gun owner, Fincher was accused of selling the gun “to a criminal,” he told Epoch Times in September, adding that he barely remembered the gun show trade.
In all, 50 firearms were confiscated from Fincher’s home. Weeks later, he received a list of the weapons from the ATF, which valued each gun at just $10 each.
“My attorney told me that if I agreed to forfeit, they would send me a check for each gun,” Fincher said.
Ashley Stephens is a resident agent in charge and the public information officer for the ATF’s Tulsa, Oklahoma, field office.
According to him, the ATF doesn’t make offers to buy guns and they don’t set the value of seized property.
“That sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard of in 20 years with the ATF,” Stephens told Epoch Times.
Fincher wants the incident investigated.
“I just want them to really investigate it,” he said. “I feel like there’s no accountability for the ATF.”
Stephens called Fincher’s account of the events “a mischaracterization of what happened.”
However, according to Humphrey, who served for 20 years as a probation officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the ATF agents’ actions amount to an abuse of power meant to intimidate and coerce Fincher into forfeiting his guns and federal firearms license.
The ATF, he alleges, never clearly defined what, if any, crime Fincher is accused of committing. Nevertheless, they handcuffed the firearms dealer in front of his 13-year-old son and searched his property.
“I’ve looked up all the statutes that I believe were violated,” Humphrey stated.
Humphrey isn’t the only lawmaker to accuse the ATF of abusing its power.
In September, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) penned a letter to ATF Director Steven Dettelbach accusing ATF agents of “aggressively” targeting a Congressional whistleblower.
“It has come to my attention that yesterday, September 6, 2023, ATF agents once again aggressively targeted and harassed one of my constituent federal firearms licensees (FFL), Chris Smith of Gulf Coast Gun, this time apparently in violation of federal law,” Gaetz wrote. “Chris has held an FFL in Florida for years with no issues, and yet the ATF has aggressively audited him without merit and accused him of various clerical errors in an attempt to have his FFL revoked. It is for this reason that Chris testified as a whistleblower before members of Congress.”
“After Chris’ testimony at my Field Hearing on the Weaponization of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, ATF agents showed up at his business unprompted to inspect a manufacturer’s license he has held for only six months,” the outspoken Rep. continued. “Given Chris has not yet used the license, the agents had nothing to inspect and had no choice but to leave. The ATF had previously audited Chris’ retail license within the last year, and it follows that given the ATF is forbidden from auditing the same business twice in one year, the only excuse the ATF had to harass Chris further was to audit a new, unused manufacturer’s license.”
“In addition to this violation of federal law, the ATF showed up uninvited to the home of Christian O’Brien, Chris’ store manager, without making an appointment, as he does not have business hours,” Gaetz wrote. “Christian does not sell any firearms or perform any business on behalf of Gulf Coast Gun.”
“The ATF’s harassment of law-abiding FFLs is clear and documented,” he stated. “Furthermore, the implication that the ATF may be retaliating against congressional whistleblowers in response to their lawful actions before Congress is astounding.”