The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) will no longer engage in “residency checks” of gun show patrons after gun ownes complained that an operation in Richmond, Va, was done to intimidate and harass show patrons, reports Gun Week. A “joint operation” involving ATF agents, the Virginia State Police, and officers from the Henrico County Police Department targeted gun buyers at a gun show last month. During the event, police officers were dispatched to the homes of persons who bought a gun at the show, where they quizzed members of gun buyers' families about the purchases. Gun Week learned of at least one “knock and talk” that occurred while the transaction was still in progress at the show.
A spokeswoman for ATF said the agency has “evaluated our position and decided not to participate in residency checks in Richmond at this time.” From all indications, Gun Week said it appears ATF headquarters in Washington was not aware of the Richmond operation until after it happened, and the show operators complained.