With 20 armed IRS agents raiding a Montana-based firearms store last week, the Biden administration’s heavy-handed federal approach has taken a new turn. The agents did not seek out financial irregularities or tax evasion. Instead, they gathered all gun purchase records, raising the alarm for conservatives nationwide.
The incident, which involved Highwood Creek Outfitters in Great Falls, Montana, unfolded as IRS agents, in coordination with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), descended upon the store. Notably, Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter wasn’t given prior notice. However, the Great Falls Police Department was made aware and offered security during the operation.
At 0730hrs on June 14, 2023, Twenty (20) Heavy Armed Agents From the IRS Criminal Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Raided Highwood Creek Outfitters, a Gun Shop and Indoor Firing Range in Great Falls, MT.
Tom VanHoose, the Store Owner was Served a Warrant… pic.twitter.com/H7gomdt4sH
— Tony Kambeitz (@Kambeitz9) June 17, 2023
The store was able to reopen following the raid, but not before a day’s business was lost. However, it’s not the temporary closure that has Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and many others concerned. The issue lies in what the IRS agents took during their search: ATF 4473 forms, documents everyone completes when purchasing a firearm.
I met with Tom Vanhoose this morning after 20 armed IRS agents raided his store in Great Falls earlier this week.
Tom informed me that these agents confiscated all the 4473 forms, none of which contain any financial information; instead, the IRS now has access to these forms… pic.twitter.com/HPFEgZedKI
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) June 16, 2023
Speaking on Newsmax’s “The Chris Salcedo Show,” Rosendale described the IRS’s action as “stormtrooper-type activity.” He highlighted that IRS agents were not there to examine financial records or transactions but to gather documents revealing who had purchased firearms. He fears this is an attempt by the IRS to create a database on conservatives who wish to own a gun.
Prior revelations back his concern that the Biden administration had close to a billion American gun purchase records in an ATF database, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon in early 2022. Rosendale states, “I am concerned that this is another attempt by the IRS to create a database on people they can target for being conservatives because they want to own their own firearm.”
The IRS’s move comes as the Biden administration and Democrats push for more stringent gun control measures. Also, as previously reported, the IRS plans to hire 87,000 more agents. This aligns with Rosendale’s concern that federal agencies are being weaponized to target and harass hard-working Americans, infringing upon liberties. Rosendale adds, “We cannot allow Biden to continue expanding these agencies to infringe on our liberties.”
The fact that the federal government has previously targeted peaceful groups of Americans for political reasons only heightens the anxiety. It’s difficult not to wonder if legal gun owners will be the next group subjected to federal scrutiny.
In conclusion, the incident in Montana highlights a concerning trend of federal overreach under the Biden administration. The targeting of legal gun owners based on their political inclinations threatens the foundational freedoms of American society. It remains to be seen if this incident will be a standalone event or a precedent for more widespread federal actions in the future.