BATFE Considering Facebook Group Admin as a Gun Dealer?  Nah.

    What Makes You A Gun Dealer?

    You may have seen the latest panic/hate/confusion rounding the interwebs this past weekend regarding a supposed cease and desist letter being sent to a supposed admin of a gun trading group on Facebook (supposed because it is dang hard to verify either of these based on the loose details).

    From a legal standpoint (which I will gloss over in a bit) this is quite an interesting conundrum if it is actually true—which in my opinion is pretty strongly suspect (let’s keep away from the political pandering on this issue).

    In terms of legitimacy of this letter, there is definitely some question (and a pretty good discussion at—and a number of other forums for that matter):

    • Date on the letter the January 8th (Friday)—pretty fast turn around for an agency to do
    • Guy’s name, address and date of birth are exposed (poor move in any case)
    • The Executive Order is not published yet
    • Misspellings (e.g. “HAND DEILVERED”)
    • The letter doesn’t mention anything about the Facebook group (one of the posters on indicates that this may be related to some personal sales not related to the Facebook group)

    The whole idea that “this is a thing” brings up an interesting point regarding how these online groups are viewed. They are not conducting “internet purchases” and are not really dealers, though they may be facilitating people to buy and sell from one another and is clearly something misunderstood in the mainstream media. I don’t think the BATFE currently has enough agents to concern themselves with this level of scrutiny (and wouldn’t even with double the field agents they have now). Just dealing with auditing the books the actual FFL holders is a massive undertaking from my understanding. Legally would BATFE have any ground to stand on by going after an Admin of a group? I would think not, but any lawyers in the group please chime in.

    Ultimately I think this is a good internet trolling event, but not something to be concerned with. Readers? Thoughts?

    Thanks to Andrew for sending in the tip!

    Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he teaches wilderness medicine and runs an on-demand medical staffing business. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.

    You can reach him at tom.r AT or at