ATF raid Sabre Defence

AR-15 manufacturer Sabre Defence Industries has been raided by the BATFE. The Nashville Post reports

Federal law enforcement agents, led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, descended on Nashville’s Sabre Defence Industries this morning and closed down the facility for at least the day.

Law enforcement officials were seen escorting employees one by one of the company out of their 35,000-square-foot facility on Allied Drive. Each employee was searched next to their personal vehicle, had their vehicle searched and, when cleared, were allowed to leave the premises. No individuals were witnessed being arrested.

I wonder what is going on.

Sabre’s M4 Tactical Piston Carbine

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Jesse

    Is Sabre Defense the ones making the licensed copy of the Aug for Steyr?

  • Andy

    “Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said agents executed a search warrant at the plant Wednesday afternoon, but he would not say what they were looking for.

    The company released a statement saying one or more employees may have obtained and resold some items without appropriate licenses. The company says it’s cooperating in the investigation.”

    • Andy, thanks for the info.

  • Tim Covington

    It’s simple. Now that they have run Cav Arms out of business, Sabre Defense is next on the ATF hit list.

  • JFerrante

    The company released a statement saying one or more employees may have obtained and resold some items without appropriate licenses. The company says it’s cooperating in the investigation.

  • Erik

    The BATFE is completely out of control. I would hope a new congress would cut their budget by about 80% to focus their energies on the (very) few things they should be enforcing instead of harassing gun manufacturers & dealers.

  • Wolfwood

    I wonder if that’s what Sabre Defence said when they found out they were being raided…


  • SpudGun

    The ATF seems to have a definite bee in it’s bonnet this month. I wonder if this has anything to do with the Shot Show arrests a few weeks ago?

    Maybe someone spilled the beans on the shady dealings that go on in the firearms industry?

    Or maybe I’ve read too many crime thrillers and it’s just the ATF hassling gun companies so it looks like they are doing something.

  • Maigo

    BATFE has been busy

  • Edward

    Don’t they also have one of the USMC/USN M16A4 contracts?

  • Bandito762

    ATF once again circumvents the Second by attacking manufacturers instead of buyers, just like with Cav Arms and ATI. I think we will be seeing a lot more of this going on. What a bunch of assholes.

  • N.W.

    If they’re searching all the employees and their vehicles, it might indicate that they suspect that receivers or rifles are/were leaving the factory before being put on the books. Also, I’m guessing they think employees might be behind it. (If this is indeed the reason for the investigation.)

  • Scott S

    Wonder if they were in the booth next to Smith and Wesson at the SHOT Show? Collateral damage………..

  • knice

    Looks like an employee was possibly doing something they shouldn’t have…

    Whatever happened to the Cav Arms raid? I know they stopped making firearms but was anyone charged?

  • Jim

    Let’s not jump to any conclusions until we know what the hell happened. The last thing we need is another nut getting mad enough to fly a plane into a government building.

  • I hope they don’t pull the same screw treatment they did to Cavalry Arms.


  • Ray

    More information from the owners of Sabre Defence on here via Mark Bradley of Bradley Arms

  • Lance

    They also make M-16A2s and M-16A3s for the US Navy and M-16A4s for the USMC.

    The ATF seems to be very militant in last few weeks.

  • Stu C.

    Strangely enough they also make barrels for the M2HB, and other various weapon components for unscle sam. Strange

  • jdun1911

    I’ll bet the bank it is related to Shot Show. They either got caught in the FBI sting or someone ratted on them that was caught in the sting.

    Whatever the reason it is over for Sabre Defense even if they aren’t charged with any crimes. Their assets has been taken/stolen and probably will never be return to them. Their firearm manufacture license will be revoke. Their military contacts will be gone.

    No doubt layoff will come soon adding to the growing number of Americans being unemployed. That’s what big government is for.

  • Had their cars searched?
    Hooray for the 4th amendment!

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    As though any federal agency has ever given a flying fuck about the Constitution.


    Looks like some employees may have been sneaking pieces/parts of the M16A3 they manufacture which has full auto capability. Most likely this was a few employees stealing from the company and the BATF found out when some lame brain started selling or giving the full auto parts away to those outside the ring of thieves.
    Sabre will crucify the employees involved, fire anyone suspected, put in a new high $ inventory tracking system and pass all the associated costs along to Uncle Sam. They will do anything the BATF asks them to do in order to avoid this happening again and some employees are going to jail.

    I bet they aren’t losing their contracts and they will be back in business on Monday.


    How do you know the employees and their vehicles weren’t listed in the search warrant?

  • Matt Litman

    IANAL, but I think that in order to search the personal cars of each and every employee, they would need probable cause of illegal activity for each and every employee. I can almost guarantee they did not have probable cause for everyone.

    What is possible/likely is that the agents threatened, intimidated, and coerced everyone into “voluntarily” consenting to a search of their car.

    I’d definitely be interested in hearing about what actually went down from someone who was at the scene.

  • Jim

    Puke, I think you need to re-read the Fourth again. They had a warrant. The founders would have no problem with this raid on those grounds.

  • Carl

    Jim, are you sure the employees’ cars were included in the warrant?

    “What is possible/likely is that the agents threatened, intimidated, and coerced everyone into “voluntarily” consenting to a search of their car.”

    Yup. 99% of all searches probably happen this way. Watch “Cops” and learn how (not) to consent to a search. In fact, when investigated by the police there is nothing to gain from even opening your mouth at all, even if you are 100% innocent.

  • G3Ken

    I find it extremely hard to believe that they had a warrant for each and every employee vehicle. They cannot blanket search everyone when they suspect that someone is up to no good. Merely working for a company that has someone engaged in criminal activity is insufficient to prove probable cause.

    A warrant cannot be “lets just see if Fred has any contraband in his car”. They need to state what they’re looking for and tell a judge WHY they suspect an individual may be in possession of contraband.

    Nobody should be giving up their rights, guilty or innocent. Better men than I died fighting to preserve those rights and I will NOT part with them willingly. Ever.