BATFE ABUSE AT RICHMOND, VA GUN SHOWS
On February 15, the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime,
Terrorism and Homeland Security will hold an oversight hearing (the
first of three BATFE-related hearings) to investigate apparent
wrongdoing by BATFE at a Richmond, VA gun show last August.
In 2004-05, a troubling pattern emerged at a number of Richmond, VA-area
gun shows, where hundreds of BATFE agents and state and local police
staked out local shows. Immediately upon learning of these incidents,
NRA began investigating and working to ensure congressional oversight
hearings would be held to determine any wrongdoing and ensure BATFE was
not overstepping its bounds or violating the law.
BATFE agents copied lawful gun purchase transaction records and provided
this information to local police officers, who in turn conducted
"residency checks." Federal law prohibits the release of this
information except in the course of a bona fide criminal investigation.
The information provided to local police prompted multiple instances of
officers showing up at the homes of those who lawfully purchased
firearms from licensed dealers. When the lawful purchasers were not at
home, agents questioned family members (for example, inquiring of a wife
if she knew her husband was at a gun show and/or had purchased a
firearm) or their neighbors. In other cases, reports surfaced of lawful
gun owners and holders of valid carry permits having their firearms
Those interested in watching the hearing online may do so at
. The hearing is scheduled to
begin at approximately 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15.