Title 2, FFLs, and BATFE Visitation

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms & Related Items' started by Buckshot, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Buckshot

    Buckshot Active Member

    May 5, 2009
    Southern AZ
    All I've ever heard are rumors, that's why I'm asking...

    I've heard that one of the downsides to having an FFL is that it gives the BATFE guys carte blanche to "inspect" the premises at the address listed on the FFL whenever they feel like it, for any reason or no reason at all. And why, if you have the option, you should have your FFL registered to a business address that is NOT your residence. (Makes sense.)

    I was wondering if being the registered owner of any Title 2 items opens you to any similar scrutiny or might also result in any extra "visitation" rights for the feds. Either by the rules, or by common practice. (Go ahead, file a complaint. It will be reviewed and filed by the guy who sent us. Snicker.)
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    I've had NFA stuff for 12 years now. Never heard from ATF. Got friends that have had 'em much longer. Only one has ever had any kind of inspection. They called him and said, basically, "We would like to see gun such-and-such, to verify that you do still have it." He made an appointment, took it down to their office, during regular business hours.

    I've heard, for years, that rumor that owning 'em gives ATF carte blanche, but it just ain't true.

  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    I owned a half dozen NFA guns for almost 40 years. No sign of ATU, ATTD, ATF, BATF, or BATFE (all the same, only the name changed). They simply don't care about legally owned and registered guns.

  4. Buckshot

    Buckshot Active Member

    May 5, 2009
    Southern AZ
    Thanks gentlemen. Good to know the Bureau of Spirits, Smokes and Spears (BSSS as the Indians used to call them) is coloring inside the lines. On this subject anyway.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  5. InfiniteArms

    InfiniteArms New Member

    Jan 8, 2003
    Jim K and Alpo are correct!

    When you own a NFA/Title 2 item you do NOT up your 4th amendment right! The only type of inspections i have confirmed (i.e. not internet rumor) are like Alpo described.

    Tho the ATF like any LE agency can TRY anything they want. But if they show up you have the right to deny them entry without a search warrant, a right to not cooperate, the ability to meet them at there offices, and a right to an attorney.

    General rule of thumb is if the person's title is Agent then speak to them with a lawyer cause they are the LE guys with guns and arrest powers and normally work on criminal cases.
  6. StoneChimney

    StoneChimney New Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    There is a difference between being an FFL holder and an individual NFA owner. We are a Class 07/02 Manufacturer and expect to see BATFE inspectors about annually. They are polite, come during our business hours, do their thing and that's it. No worries.

    I've never heard of an individual tax-stamp owner having BATFE troubles unless they got on the radar somehow.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    When you are a business licensee (not a C&R) your premises is subject to inspection by BATFE. If you have your business in your home, they can inspect your books and your store/shop premises, basically to make sure your books reflect what is actually there and that you are not playing games by having guns you have not recorded. But that applies to your shop, not to your home, which they can search only with a warrant.

    BATFE discourages home businesses, saying that the business must conform to local and state law (including zoning regulations) before a license will be issued. In those areas without zoning, though, they will issue a license for a home-based business.

    That being said, it is a good idea to have a separate room or area for the business, with a separate entrance for the public.

    I recommend having a business premises away from the home for other reasons, though. One thing is fire concern, especially for a gunsmith business. One wrong move with a propane torch and you can have a fire that would destroy both your shop and your home. For another, gun shops can be targeted by gangs; if a storefront is broken into, that is bad, but your insurance will cover the loss. It would be far worse to have your home invaded and your family held at gunpoint or shot by thugs looking for guns.

    And criminals are not the only people you don't want coming to your home in the dark of night. You could be waked up at 3AM on opening day by some clown demanding you fix the gun he broke last year. Your wife will not be happy.

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