Washington, DC – -(AmmoLand.com)- If there is any federal agency that can be counted on to create a problem just to justify their own existence it is certainly the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
When it comes to overhyping the next “threat” to the homeland – regardless of the facts – the ATF seldom disappoints.
The embattled agency’s latest piece of creative fiction is a warning about “privately made firearms” or PMFs, and it should serve as a warning to gun owners, homebuilders, and everyone else who values their civil rights.
An ATF document titled “First Responder Awareness of Privately Made Firearms May Prevent Illicit Activities” was published last week by the Joint Counterterrorism Assessment Team (JCAT).
“JCAT is a collaboration by the NCTC, DHS, and FBI to improve information sharing among federal, state, local, tribal, territorial governments and private sector partners, in the interest of enhancing public safety,” the document states. “This product is NOT in response to a specific threat against the United States. It provides a general awareness of, considerations for, and additional resources related to terrorist tactics, techniques, and procedures, whether domestic or overseas.”
To be clear, the ATF and JCAT consider homebuilt firearms “terrorist tactics, techniques and procedures,” even though Americans have been making guns legally in their homes since before there even was a United States of America.
The document was never supposed to be leaked to the media or the public and is exempt from discovery through the federal Freedom of Information Act, but some freedom-loving soul published it online yesterday despite its ominous warning:
“WARNING: This document is UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY. Do not release to the public, the media, or other personnel who do not have a valid need to know without prior approval from NCTC, DHS, or the FBI. This document may contain US Person information deemed necessary for the intended recipient to understand, assess, or act on the information provided. Additionally, this document may contain information exempt from public release under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552).”
“Criminals and violent extremists continue to seek ways to acquire firearms through the production of privately made firearms (PMFs),” ATF’s document warns. “PMF awareness and identification can aid
PMF recovery, prevention of illicit activities including terrorism, and overall first responder and public safety.”
Evidently, even the ATF was worried that their door-kickers might go too far, again – they can’t afford another Waco or Ruby Ridge – so they included a subtle warning before things get out of hand.
“NOTE: Many of the activities described herein may involve Constitutionally protected activities and may be insignificant on their own. Action should not be taken solely based on the exercise of Constitutionally protected rights.” Yep, those pesky Constitutional rights tend to get in the way.
Much of the advice the ATF passes on to First Responders would be laughable, were it not for the fact that Americans have a right to make firearms in their own homes. Apparently, that doesn’t matter. If you’re found with 3D printers, printing mediums such as plastic, ceramic, or metal spools, or place what the agency considers to be too large of an order online, you’re going to be suspected of terrorism or violent extremism even though your actions are perfectly legal.
I have written about the need to abolish the ATF before because no one seems capable of reining in the rogue agency or forcing them to accept the fact Americans actually do have constitutional rights.
This is more important now than ever before, because Biden’s nominee to head the ATF, David Chipman, is a paid anti-gun activist who would definitely take the agency in the opposite direction.
If Chipman is confirmed by the Senate, this leaked ATF report is just a warning of more serious civil rights violations yet to come.
The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.
About Lee Williams
Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.