County sheriff says call him if ATF shows up at your door

County sheriff says call him if ATF shows up at your door
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

Recently, I wrote about the experiences of a man in Delaware who answered his door to find law enforcement–both state police and the ATF–checking on whether he still owned the guns he recently purchased. It rattled a lot of cages in the Second Amendment community, as it should have.


After all, stuff like that isn’t supposed to happen.

In Washington state, one county sheriff says that if the ATF does that to you, call him.

Benton County Sheriff Tom Croskrey is weighing in on an incident in Delaware that’s being discussed in right wing circles, saying he will defend citizens against federal gun rights violations.

Law enforcement is not allowed to inspect your property, which would include guns, without probable cause, he told Benton County residents on a news release.

If U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, agents show up on your property without providing a legal reason and will not leave, call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, he said.

He or his deputies will investigate, he said.

“It is my duty as the sheriff of Benton County to defend the citizens and their constitutional rights,” Croskrey said in the signed news release Wednesday.

“Your Second Amendment right to bear arms will not be infringed upon, and any action taken by the federal government that is incongruent with those rights will not be enforced by my office,” he said.

Now, let’s be realistic here. There’s not a lot of chance of that happening in Croskrey’s county, in part because it’s unlikely they’d have the kind of governmental support to do so that they’d enjoy in Delaware.

Then again, it’s not like Washington state has been leaning pro-gun lately, so maybe some ATF agents might think they’d get away with it.

Yet Croskrey is absolutely correct about how the ATF cannot just show up and demand to inspect your property without a warrant. They can, however, ask. Yet absent any probable cause, you’re not required to show them jack squat.


If they try to force the issue, calling the sheriff is certainly warranted. Especially if that sheriff is Croskrey.

Look, that video and the associated reports stirred up a hornet’s nest, and for good reason. Nothing about that was kosher and we all know it. Hell, I figure the ATF agent at the door knew it, but figured he could get away with it.

It’s worth it to push back, and that’s what Croskrey is doing here. That’s a very good thing.

The ATF doesn’t have the authority to just demand to see what you own. They’re not even supposed to track what you’ve bought, for crying out loud, yet we see otherwise. If they do that to you, and you live in Benton County, Washington, call the sheriff.

In fact, it might be a good idea to talk to your county sheriff about whether they’d respond in such a situation. If they won’t, well, maybe it’s time to find a new one, because if the ATF isn’t going to respect our rights, someone had damn well better.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member