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Man calls police on ATF agent demanding to see his gun

'You guys are making a big mistake'

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Yudi Sherman

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August 02, 2022

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11:08 AM

Man calls police on ATF agent demanding to see his gun

A video circulating on social media has users across the internet cheering for a private citizen who called the police on a federal agent demanding to see his gun. 

It is unclear whether Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Agent James Burk intended to confiscate the firearm or verify its legality. But the Columbus, Ohio resident asked Burk to wait while he retrieved his gun from the house. While inside, the citizen called Columbus Police, reportedly saying there was a man claiming to be a federal agent on his property. 

The police arrived and ordered Burk to turn around and put his hands up. 

“I’m a federal f***ing agent,” Burk said, turning. 

Officer Joseph Fihe drew his weapon and ordered Burk to get on the ground. 

“What is your deal?” said Burk. “I’m a federal agent. I’m a federal agent.” 

“Get on the ground so I can find out who you are,” ordered Fihe. 

“It ain’t happening,” Burk refused. But another officer approached and repeated the order to get on the ground. 

“You guys are making a big mistake,” said Burk as he lay prone, then telling the officers to check his identification. 

The incident then took a more colorful turn as Burk began pleading with the officers, who struggled to cuff the agent. 

“Wait a second! I’ve got a medical condition!” said Burk, who also told the officers he was hyperventilating and that his wife was pregnant.  

The video appears to show a struggle, ending with the police tasing Burke while he was on the ground. 

While the incident reportedly took place in 2020, the video resurfaced this week as ATF agents are showing up at the homes of private citizens without warrants and demanding to check privately owned firearms. 

Last month, America’s Frontline News reported that Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agents showed up at the home of a private Delaware resident, demanding to see the firearms he purchased. The two agents, who were accompanied by a state trooper, confirmed that the man did nothing wrong. All were wearing tactical gear and none had a warrant. 

“All I’m doing is verifying that you have it, you got two different purchases,” one of the agents said in the video, which was captured by a Ring camera. “If you have them, I’m out of here. That’s how quick it is. Yeah. Do you have them with you by any chance?”  

“They’re in my safe,” the homeowner said.  

“If you can unload them and bring them out, we can go out to your foyer here, check them out, write the serial numbers and we’re out of here,” the agent responded.  

“That’s it?” the homeowner asked. “Yep,” the agent said before the second agent added, “It will take five seconds.”  

The state trooper said, “The reason we’re out here is obviously gun violence is at an uptick. We want to make sure – we’ve been having a lot of issues with straw purchases.” A straw purchase is when someone purchases a firearm for someone else.  

“One of the things, indicators we get is someone making a large gun purchase, and then a lot of times, we’ve been there and ‘oh, those guns got taken,’” the state trooper added.  

“The idea is that when you purchase more than two guns at a time it generates a multiple sales report and it comes to us and we have to check them out,” the first agent said. “That’s all that is. You did nothing wrong – absolutely zero. I noticed you were stopped in Philly though with one of your guns?” 

“We’ll wait if you feel more comfortable,” the policeman said.  

“I’m okay. I just – I didn’t expect,” the homeowner began before the first agent interjected.  

“Oh no. It just came up. We came here, look, I’m telling you. There’s an email from the federal side saying can you make sure this guy’s got his guns. If you recently purchased a whole bunch of guns, if we can look at them and just scratch them off,” the agent said before the homeowner said he does have all his guns.  

The second agent then appeared to threaten the man that they would return if he did not show them his guns.  

“We can look at them and write which ones you just bought, so we can save a trip from coming back,” he said. “We’ll confirm that you have them.”  

The man eventually brought out one rifle, which satisfied the agents who then left. 

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