Anchorage-area firearms dealers are being invited to a June 5 seminar by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives nearly two months after a controversy erupted that set off alarms among Northwest gun rights activists and got the attention of Alaska Congressman Don Young.
The ATF field office in Anchorage takes direction from the Seattle Field Division office, and in January, an agent in Anchorage approached several local gun shops including Great Northern Guns, asking for their bound books, containing information on all gun transactions, so he could make copies. Great Northern Guns, as this column noted, refused. The agent departed, but that was hardly the end of things.
Members of the WaGuns, Seattle Guns and Gun Rights Media forums have been watching this situation unfold, over concerns that it could happen here.
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue has also been on top of the situation, and on his advice, Joseph Andreis, owner of Great Northern Guns, and store manager Frank Caiazza both sent letters to ATF resident agent Michael Graham in Anchorage seeking answers. So far, they haven’t gotten any, or even a formal response from the ATF .
Perhaps Young’s inquiry will change that, and no doubt it will come up at the June 5 afternoon meeting at the Federal Building annex.
The past 15 months have not been good for the ATF. Operation Fast and Furious put the agency under a microscope, and more recently, the Seattle field office has been in the midst of another scandal involving an informant who recently drew a prison sentence for crimes committed while he was being paid by the ATF.
According to Andries’ letter, witnesses were present in the store when ATF agent J.J. Johnson “requested that GNG turn over its ‘bound book’ for the purpose of copying the entries there.” In his letter to Graham, Andreis attached an affidavit corroborating his report, and he said there were at least two witnesses to the incident. He asked for a response by May 15, but since the ATF has established something of a track record of non-response due to Fast & Furious, the gun dealership’s deadline passed in silence.
There was no agenda attached to the June 5 seminar notice.
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