GREAT FALLS, Montana — The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) served a warrant at a Montana gun store and seized 1000s of Form 4473s even though the forms were not listed on the search warrant.
According to Tom Van Hoose, the owner of Highwood Creed Outfitters in Great Falls, MT, 20 heavily armed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents showed up at his gun store, fully kitted out on Wednesday morning. Accompanying the IRS agents were agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, And Explosives (BATFE). The agents had a search warrant and claimed that Mr. Van Hoose underreported millions of dollars of income from his business, a claim Mr. Hoose vehemently denies.
In addition to the Form 4473s, the IRS agents also seized all point of sale (POS) software records and other financial documents during their 10-hour visit. Before handing over the documents, Mr. Van Hoose contacted ATF supervisor Kirk Nelson and asked if he had to turn over the Form 4473s to the IRS agents Since the documents were not listed on the search warrant. Nelson initially told Van Hoose that he was not required to turn over the documents but later recanted his statement.
On Friday, Congressman Matt Rosendale and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen visited the store to talk to the owner about what happened with the IRS raid. Congressman Rosendale sent a letter to the IRS demanding answers after the IRS confiscation of the Form 4473s from the gun shop. AG Knudsen is also demanding answers.
“I spoke with the shop owner who told me that 20 heavily armed IRS agents from multiple states in our region served a warrant before his business opened,” AG Knudsen told AmmoLand News. “They took dozens of boxes full of 4473s — more than a decade’s worth. This is extremely concerning because it seemingly exceeds the search warrant, which limited the scope of the search to financial records. These aren’t financial records; they’re records of lawful firearm purchases. We know the ATF in Washington, DC, is trying to scoop up as many of these purchase records as possible, and that’s what it looks like they’re trying to do here.”
“There’s a clear and disturbing pattern developing of the Biden administration sending federal agents to harass American gun owners, shops, and manufacturers,” Knudsen continued. “Biden wants to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) so they can shut down gun companies and coerce states to implement ‘red flag’ laws so firearms can be seized without due process. Now, they’re sending federal agents door-to-door in my state to intimidate people. There’s no question about it; this is the most anti-gun administration in the nation’s history.”
Congressman Rosendale took to Twitter to object not only to the raid but also to the perceived weaponization of the IRS. There is a bill in Congress to demilitarize the IRS and remove funding for the additional 87,000 IRS agents in the federal budget.
“The weaponization of our government must be STOPPED, which is why I sent a letter to ATF Director Dettelbach and IRS Commissioner Werfel demanding answers about this outrageous attack and have used every tool available to me to remove funding for the 87,000 additional IRS agents,” the Congressman tweeted.
The weaponization of our government must be STOPPED, which is why I sent a letter to ATF Director Dettelbach and IRS Commissioner Werfel demanding answers about this outrageous attack and have used every tool available to me to remove funding for the 87,000 additional IRS agents! pic.twitter.com/IGyoWLrRu0
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) June 16, 2023
Gun Owners of America (GOA) also is aware of the situation and is working closely with Rep. Rosendale and others to defund the IRS’s move to militarize. Tim Macy, Chairman of The Board, expressed his dismay at the IRS’s actions.
“Rep. Rosendale is absolutely correct that under President Biden, federal agencies are being weaponized against law-abiding Americans by out-of-control federal bureaucrats,” Macy said. “These actions should concern all Americans no matter their political beliefs.”
An IRS spokesperson told AmmoLand News that they do not comment on open investigations. Mr. Van Hoose said he plans to start a “Go Fund Me” to raise money for a legal challenge to the seizures of the Form 4473s.
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About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.