According to recent reports from Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, armed agents from the Internal Revenue Service seized information on gun buyers earlier this week. Knudsen claimed the agents appeared at Great Falls’ Highwood Creek Outfitters on Wednesday and took dozens of boxes containing ATF form 4473s, a background check form that holds information on citizens purchasing a gun.
Before the business opened, the agents showed up at the business to collect the information from the store owner. “At 7:30, I came in and they pulled in behind me with 20 heavily armed agents,” said the owner of Highwood Creek Outfitters, Tom Van Hoose. The owner said the agents took so long, that the business only had 30 minutes to operate, costing Van Hoose virtually an entire day of business. Furthermore, Van Hoose claims federal agents have targeted him for a few years.
Van Hoose alleges he has been in the crosshairs of the federal agents because he sells the kind of guns that go against liberal gun control initiatives. “I can only assume that it’s because of the style of weapons that we have and the press that’s so against them,” he stated. The small-business owner claims to have been surveilled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the State of Montana, and the Internal Revenue Service.
“The fact that they think we make so much money as a gun business that they had to come investigate all the thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars whatever it is we supposedly absconded with, anybody that knows the margins in the gun business knows they’re not that high,” Van Hoose continued.
AG Knudsen spoke with Breitbart News on the issue, outlining the implications of the federal agent’s collection of such information. “I spoke with the shop owner who told me that 20 heavily armed IRS agents from multiple states in our region served a warrant before his business opened. They took dozens of boxes full of 4473s — more than a decade’s worth,” he said.
The Attorney General also said the seizure went beyond the power granted by the search warrant, claiming the information they obtained weren’t financial documents but records of law-abiding citizens utilizing their second amendment right. “This is extremely concerning because it seemingly exceeds the search warrant which limited the scope of the search to financial records. These aren’t financial records, they’re records of lawful firearm purchases. What the hell does the IRS need with 4473s? We know the ATF in Washington, DC is trying to scoop up as many of these purchase records as possible, and that’s what it looks like they’re trying to do here,” Knudson said.
Knudsen also said a “disturbing” trend is arising where the Biden administration is sending federal agents to harass American citizens who privately own firearms, shops that sell guns, and companies that manufacture them. Furthermore, the Attorney General pointed out how Biden seeks to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits over illegal firearm use.
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