Julie Torres is the Deputy Assistant Director for Field Operations (East) with ATF. On Monday she sent out an open letter to all Federal firearms licensees regarding the September 11th anniversary.
The letter warns FFLs to exercise “increased awareness and vigilance” as September 11th approaches. While ATF has no specific threat information, they obviously believe that gun shops would be targets for terrorists seeking weapons.
After giving links to publications on safety and security and after reminding dealers that they have a legal obligation to report losses to both local law enforcement as well as ATF, Ms. Torres includes this statement:
Any time you spot suspicious activity associated with your Federal firearms license, please contact your local ATF field office immediately.
In light of the behavior of ATF officials in Project Gunwalker I find this highly ironic. Dealers did contact ATF immediately in both Texas and Arizona when they were faced with dubious buyers making suspicious purchases. They were ordered by the ATF to let those sales go through even though they were going to what obviously were straw purchasers.
So, Ms. Torres, you may want to reevaluate your choice of words in the future. Or better yet, cooperate with the dealers when they are asking you for permission to reject suspicious sales.