Rep. Justin Humphrey, a Republican from Oklahoma, is requesting that numerous agents from the ATF be jailed and punished for their involvement in an unlawful raid on a gun dealer that resulted in the seizure of more than 50 weapons.
According to Humphrey, he has filed an affidavit with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office detailing his suspicions about the agents who conducted the June 16 raid on the house of federal firearms license (FFL) holder Russell Fincher in Tuskahoma.
The lawmaker also mentioned that he has been cooperating with the sheriff’s office in Pushmataha County, where the event took place. Together with the sheriff’s office, he has requested that Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond launch an inquiry against the ATF agents for extortion, terrorist threats, and abuse of their official capacity.
“When you abuse your law enforcement position, I think you ought to be arrested,” Humphrey told the Epoch Times.
Fincher, a high school history teacher, Baptist preacher, and part-time gun dealer with a three-year FFL, has been the target of criticism in Oklahoma since an ATF raid.
According to reports, his present trouble started back in April, when the ATF asked to check his private gun shop.
But in June, when the ATF raided his firm, things took a drastic turn for the worst.
Over a dozen armed ATF officers were present during the raid on Fincher’s firm, which involved at least seven cars. While Fincher’s 13-year-old son saw the raid from inside, agents reportedly chained and threatened him on the deck to get him to sign paperwork revoking his FFL.
The ATF took more than 50 of Fincher’s weapons during this meeting; their market value was between $50,000 and $60,000. The ATF justified this action by saying that the firearms were “evidence.” His company was closed down as well.
Probation officer Humphrey, who has worked for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for over two decades, said the ATF agents misused their authority by forcing Fincher to surrender his FFL and other valuables.
“I’ve looked up all the statutes that I believe were violated,” said Humphrey, who is accusing the ATF of not clearly stating what crime, if any, Fincher was accused of when the agency conducted the raid.
The public information officer and resident agent in charge of the ATF’s Tulsa field office, Ashley Stephens, responded to Fincher and Humphrey’s accusation that firearms were being confiscated without probable cause.
“This is a mischaracterization of what happened,” said Stephens, who further claimed that, under the ATF’s administrative guidelines, agents are only able to seize guns they have been authorized by the court to seize. “We can only seize what the court tells us we can seize.”