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"Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." - This example of nefarious chicanery obviously isn't limited to the DoJ and FBI; the ATF bent this guy over and buggered him with no grease.
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Posted by: TEEBONE ®

05/17/2020, 16:44:53

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www.thefirearmblog.com

Man Sues The ATF For Damaging Seized Guns And Losing Parts -

by Doug E
6-7 minutes

For firearms enthusiasts, having guns seized by law enforcement is a nightmare we’d rather not think about, but unfortunately, it has been a path some gun owners have had to walk.  Finding that personal property has been mistreated, neglected or outright damaged by law enforcement, is sadly a real possibility when it comes to seized guns.  In today’s case, we’ll detail a plaintiff’s claims that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE, or ATF) damaged his seized guns, lost parts and original boxes, and perhaps even used them on other raids.

BACKGROUND OF THE CASE

One can reasonably expect to have a firearm used in the course of a defensive shooting to be seized during the investigation, but to have an entire collection of firearms seized is an entirely different ball of wax.  The plaintiff, Mr. Robert Arwady and his wife began their long ordeal in 1998, at which time he had a Federal Firearms License (FFL).  Mr. Arwady states that he and his employee were prosecuted for acts committed by the employee and all records were seized by the ATF.  The employee was convicted and Mr. Arwardy was acquitted of all charges and most of the records were returned.

Moving forward to 2006, Mr. Arwady states that the ATF revoked his FFL due to insufficient record keeping, which he claims was due to the missing records the ATF never returned to him.  According to the ATF, Mr. Arwady had numerous instances of record keeping violations during inspections in 1991, 1996, 1999, and 2004.  During the 2004 inspection, the ATF noted that Mr. Arwady couldn’t account for missing firearms and counted 13 other record keeping violations.  During Mr. Arwady’s renewal process in 2005 and 2006, the ATF denied his license renewal.

The following is an excerpt from Mr. Arwady’s lawsuit, and explains the gun collection in question (emphasis added by me):

Upon the FFL revocation becoming final in 2007, Mr. Arwady transferred the
hundred-plus firearms still in its inventory to himself, as his personal collection.
All the transfers were with the required paperwork and background check. He
advertised the firearms on the internet, but handled all transactions carefully and
legally.

SEIZURE, FORFEITURE & eventual RETURN of the seized guns

Mr. Arwady began selling his gun collection (presumably one or two at a time) through a licensed FFL dealer, that would actually log the firearms into his inventory, and conduct a background check on the purchaser.  In the lawsuit, Mr. Arwady mentions that this act of selling through a license dealer is the process recommended by the ATF.  Again we look at the claims of the lawsuit for what happened next (emphasis mine):

In 2009, ATF began an investigation of Mr. Arwady and sent an undercover
agent to Mr. Arwady in an attempt to get him either to (1) sell a gun directly to the
agent without going through an FFL or (2) get Mr. Arwady to purchase and resell
to the agent a gun that was not already in his collection. Mr. Arwady refused to do
either. He told the undercover agent that he would not sell without the background
check because otherwise he could not be sure that the undercover agent was a legal
buyer.

ATF Agent proceeded to arrest and raid Mr. Arwady anyway, together with one
of Mr. Arwady’s employees. Despite the requirements of statute that only firearms
“particularly named and individually identified” as involved in a violation were
subject to seizure, and the Fourth Amendment’s requirement that a search warrant
particularly describe the things to be seized, ATF seized every firearm or firearm
part found.

Section 10 of the lawsuit states that the government started the civil forfeiture process on his seized guns, but was ultimately dismissed by Judge Sim Lake in 2012 since the proceedings had been three years pending without any criminal charges being filed over the seized guns.  Mr. Arwady was most likely formally charged with 10 criminal acts at some point between 2012 and 2014 as he states that he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals in March of 2014.  He refused all plea bargains during that time.  The suit states that on the eve of his trial, the government dropped eight of the 10 charges, and a unanimous jury acquitted him of the remaining two charges in October of 2015.

Mr. Arwady described the eventual return of his property:

The United States seized 165 firearms from Mr. Awady in July 2009, and
returned 160 of them in two installments in 2015 and 2016. When the firearms
were returned, many had been damaged. Many were missing parts or accessories.
Others had damage to their finish, having been delivered jostling in the bed of a
pickup truck. Those which had been in “new in box” condition, a firearm’s most
valuable state, had been taken from their boxes and the boxes not returned. At least
one firearm showed signs it had been carried on a raid: it had accessories mounted
on it which it had not carried at the time it was seized.

The United States had a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect Mr.
Arwady’s firearms while they were its custody. This duty was breached, causing
the damage described above.

It should be noted that this is mostly one side of the story as told by Mr. Arwady, and no doubt the ATF will get a chance to tell their side as they respond to the suit.  I recommend giving Mr. Arwady’s lawsuit a read (HERE) as it’s not overly long and quite straight forward.  You can also read a bit more of the ATF’s side of things as the events led up to Mr. Arwady’s license revocation HERE.

What do you think about Mr. Arwady’s case?





LIBERTY HAS NO EXPIRATION DATE

Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.





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