ATF throwing Adventure Outdoors under the bus

The entire pro-gun community is aware of Mayor Bloomberg of New York City’s lawsuit against licensed FFLs – the lawsuit that was a result of his sending private investigators to their stores to break the law and then try and sue them for it.

You may or may not know that as of right now, there is basically one last shop standing that is refusing to give into the bullying by Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies. Adventure Outdoors is still fighting the original lawsuit, as well as having filed a counter-suit, suing Mayor Bloomberg for defamation.

The ATF throwing Adventure Outdoors under the bus pertains to the original case, which is still being fought in court. Earlier in the year, Adventure Outdoors had subpoenaed three BATFE agents to be deposed in regards to the case pending against Adventure Outdoors. After the initial subpoenas were withdrawn, the BATFE “agreed” to allow the agents to be deposed in written question – now BATFE is going back on that agreement and has filed motions to exempt the agents from their written depositions.

For the particulars, you can read the entire motion as filed by BATFE in pdf format, pay special attention to page 8 of 20, where the lawyers for ATF say the following:

In evaluating the burden to ATF, the Court should consider the “cumulative” impact on ATF, i.e., the likelihood that ATF would be burdened with request for deposition testimony in other cases.

Slightly further down that same page, you find this:

ATF properly determined that the burdens to ATF from having the ATF employees respond to written questions outweighs any benefit to Adventure Outdoors.

Essentially, ATF is saying to Adventure Outdoors (and all FFLs in general) that our time is more important that your livelihood. Because that’s what we’re talking about here – the method that the owners and employees of this gun shop use to put food on the table is at stake, but ATF thinks that the cost of losing two special agents for a day “outweighs any benefit to Adventure Outdoors”.

That would be bad enough in and of itself – but to add more wood to the fire, Adventure Outdoors isn’t just any old gun shop. According to sources, Adventure Outdoors has on at least 11 different occasions gone above and beyond the letter of the law, and gone out of their way to work with and provide ATF with information on possible straw purchases. AO could have just refused the sale, and simply obeyed the letter of the law – but instead they have gone beyond their legal commitment and actively aided the ATF in the past. So now when all Adventure Outdoors wants to do is depose ATF agents and get factual statements out of them, ATF doesn’t have the time to testify. It sends a bad message to FFLs – ATF is basically saying that “even if you help us, we’re still not going to lift a finger to help you”.

The “cherry on the sundae” ultimately is that Mayor Bloomberg has been trashing the ATF in his press conferences – saying that “ATF needs assistance from the City of New York…to monitor or supervise Adventure Outdoors in its sale of firearms”, implying that ATF can’t do its job. Being deposed by Adventure Outdoors would have given ATF an opportunity to do a couple of things: 1) Defend themselves from Bloomberg’s baseless accusations, and 2) establish some good credit with FFLs.

With regards to number 2, it’s no secret that there are lot of people who feel like the ATF is out to get law-abiding dealers with ticky-tac violations and legal harassment techniques. By refusing to allow their special agents to be deposed, ATF is sending another bad message to the law-abiding firearms dealers: “Even if you help us, we’re not going to help you.” Adventure Outdoors had in the past gone above and beyond their legal obligation and assisted ATF, and this is the “thanks” they receive.

With behavior like this, it’s no wonder that more and more, FFLs and gun owners are assuming that the ATF isn’t interested in enforcing the law, but rather in shutting down licensees across the country. That’s essentially what’s at stake here for Adventure Outdoors – their business and livelihood. I don’t run a gun shop – but if I did, I’d think twice about going above and beyond to help them. I’d stick to the letter of the law, stay perfectly legal, but I wouldn’t do any extra work to help out ATF. Not if this is how they treat law-abiding firearms dealers.

Contact your Congressional representative and urge them to co-sponsor HR 4900, the BATFE Reform Bill.


  1. I know these guys for about 15 years now,and it would be very sad if they had to close their doors. Because it is just not the ATF and Bloomberg that are problems for them,but they have been broken into four times now. The store ain’t in the best part of town. In fact it’s the same part of two as Wild West Trader,who got hit last week with 80 guns taken.

    Not sure if the GCO is doing anything,or if it can. But, every time I go there,which is bout twice a week to get ammo. I hit the tip jar with a $20 to help out with legal cost. These are good guys,the best and most honest in the business. It is shameful they are being treated this way.

  2. “ATF properly determined that the burdens to ATF from having the ATF employees respond to written questions outweighs any benefit to Adventure Outdoors.”

    Proper or improper, that is not the Bureau of Always Think Forfeiture’s decision to make, in my business we call that conflict of interest. From the 1st quote, they seem to have forgotten that they work for the taxpayer and that participating in a deposition is not a burden but a duty. A duty they should feel honored to perform.


  3. The BATFU is completely out of control and needs to be reigned in. The agents are probably too busy testifying to get someones ffl revoked for abbreviations.

  4. As a Jewess in the US, I continue to be APPALLED by the tactics of the ATF. If they are such hot stuff, let them use their machine guns and flame-throwers against the Taliban and in Iraq! Remember that America wasn’t won with a registered gun, and that criminals are stopped by FIREARMS, not by talk. That is why all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!

  5. If I were the Governor of Virginia, I would have had my Attorney General issue a warrant for the arrest of Mayor Bloomberg and all of his minions who participated in the ‘stings’ conducted in my state. And since Bloomberg has billions, he would be held without bail until we could prosecute him and his horde for the illegal acts they committed on Virginia soil. And I would have the US Attorney for Virginia also prosecute them for violation of the Project Exile/ Project Safe Neighborhoods Act which would put a mandatory 5 years on their sentences for EACH firearm improperly purchased.

    If we did that, maybe those b*st*rds would thik twice about their crusades and the laws they get passed.

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