Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Oklahoma State Representative Calls for Inquiry into ATF's SWAT Operation at Pastor's Residence

Read more: https://www.ammoland.com/2023/09/oklahoma-lawmaker-demands-investigation-atf-swat-team-raid-pastors-home/#ixzz8CS47ztjh Under Creative Commons License: Attribution  Follow us: @Ammoland on Twitter | Ammoland on Facebook  ATF Targets Gun Shops Image ATF Instagram 2023

Oklahoma State Representative Justin Humphrey has formally requested that various authorities, including Oklahoma's Attorney General, Governor Kevin Stitt, and the Sheriff of Pushmataha County, look into a SWAT raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) on the residence of Russell Fincher, one of his constituents.

In a press statement, Humphrey expressed concern about the alleged circumstances surrounding the ATF’s actions. Fincher, a high school teacher, part-time gun dealer, and Baptist pastor, had reported that ATF agents armed with automatic weapons raided his home, detained him on his porch in front of his teenage son, and pressured him to give up his Federal Firearm License.

Humphrey mentioned in his letter to officials, "If proven true, the actions of the ATF agents could be seen as a severe misuse and abuse of their federal law enforcement authority." He continued to state, "He [Fincher] explained that he felt coerced due to the armed agents and the threatening environment. He likened the agents’ actions to extortion rather than a proper law enforcement search."

During the operation, ATF Special Agent Theodore Mongell reportedly took charge. Fincher recalled Mongell stating, "You’re done. We have to shut you down," adding a warning for other Federal Firearm License (FFL) holders, "Tell all your FFL buddies we are coming for them. We are shutting the gun shows down."

The ATF reportedly confiscated more than 50 of Fincher’s personal firearms, valued around $60,000. Following the raid, Fincher received an offer letter from the ATF to compensate him at a rate of $10 per firearm, an amount he found inadequate.

In his letter calling for the investigation, Humphrey underscored the need to probe into whether the ATF agents overstepped their authority by "coercing Mr. Fincher into terminating his federal firearm license" and making potential threats against other gun dealers in Oklahoma. 

Humphrey, who heads the state's Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee, articulated his concern about alleged violations of Fincher’s Second and Fourth Amendment rights. He maintained that the state has a duty to protect the rights of its citizens against federal overreach, especially in matters involving firearms.

A crowdfunding account has been set up to assist Fincher with legal expenses. The story has gained attention as part of the Second Amendment Foundation's Investigative Journalism Project.

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