Here We Go: 20 “Heavily Armed” IRS and ATF Agents Raid Gun Shop, Seize Buyer Records

by J Pelkey
0 comment
Tom Van Hoose, the owner of Highwood Creek Outfitters – Screenshot / MTN News

A gun store located in Great Falls, Montana, was subjected to a raid by twenty armed agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The agents seized all Form 4473 documents, which contain sensitive information about buyers during firearms transactions.

According to a report by KRTV, Tom Van Hoose, the owner of Highwood Creek Outfitters, claims that he has been under constant surveillance by state and federal agencies for over two years.

On a Wednesday morning, the gun shop owner got an unexpected visit from a team of twenty heavily armed agents from the IRS and ATF. The agents arrived at the store early in the morning, as the store was opening.

“We have now confirmed that both the IRS and the ATF were at Highwood Creek Outfitters in Great Falls around 7 am this morning. Both the IRS and ATF would not say why they were there,” KMON Radio reported.

Newsletter Signup

When approached for comment, a spokesperson for the IRS merely stated that they were present for official IRS business. The ATF stated that they were assisting the IRS. An attempt was made by the news outlet to enter the store, but they were stopped by agents stationed at the entrance who only revealed that the gun store was closed and would reopen the following day.

Van Hoose has disclosed that the federal scrutiny began two years ago and has involved multiple agencies, including the FBI, the OSHA, the DHS, and now, the IRS and the ATF.

“They must think we’re making a fortune in the gun business to investigate us like this, assuming we’re hiding thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars. However, anyone familiar with gun business profit margins would know that’s not the case,” Van Hoose told MTN News.

According to Van Hoose, he was informed that his business had been reported, but he has not been given the reason why. He strongly believes that the entire incident was politically motivated.

“I can only assume that it’s because of the style of weapons that we have and the press that’s so against them,” said Van Hoose. “The current administration seems to be hell bent on getting those guns out of the hands of average Americans.”

From KRTV:

“I can only assume that it’s because of the style of weapons that we have and the press that’s so against them,” said Van Hoose. “The current administration seems to be hell bent on getting those guns out of the hands of average Americans.”

Van Hoose says the agents were cordial and professional, but still felt invaded and now has lost nearly a whole day’s revenue.

“I got 30 minutes of operating time in and made one $16 sale,” said Van Hoose.

Van Hoose says his shop has a good relationship with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and [Firearms], which was also present. He says because his shop carries “fun guns” like AR-15’s and AK-47s their level of licensing draws more scrutiny.

“We have a reputation of dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s because there’s so much legal fun to be had,” said Van Hoose. “It’s just not worth doing things that are going to get you in trouble.”

Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter says there is no law stating that the sheriff must be notified prior to any such investigation by federal agents.

The Great Falls Police Department was notified of the investigation and provided security.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) paid a visit to the shop on Friday and disclosed that the IRS had seized buyer records. In a tweet, he stated, “Tom informed me that these agents confiscated all the 4473 forms, none of which contain any financial information; instead, the IRS now has access to these forms with sensitive personal details of every customer who purchased a firearm from Highwood Creek Outfitters,”

Rosendale has taken action by demanding answers in a letter addressed to the leaders of the IRS and the ATF. In his letter, he wrote, “These background check forms contain no financial information, and there is no discernable reason why the IRS would need these forms.”

“The IRS committed an egregious breach of privacy for Montana’s gun owners and I am outraged that the agents involved showed no regard for federal law. Although there are still some murky details regarding the events at Highwood Creek Outfitters, there is still no circumstance in which 4473’s would be necessary in an investigation spearheaded by the IRS.”

In the letter, Rosendale urged the agencies “cease conducting these Soviet-style intimidation raids.”

Read the letter below:

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Breaking Digest is focused on reporting breaking news that matters to the American people.

Edtior's Picks

Latest Articles