In the fall of 2009, ATF agents installed a secret phone line and hidden cameras in a ceiling panel and wall at Andre Howard's Lone Wolf gun store.I have spent most of my adult life working in gun stores, and that is just absolutely chilling.
They gave him one basic instruction: Sell guns to every illegal purchaser who walks through the door.
For 15 months, Howard did as he was told.
When you're in the gun biz, the BATFEIEIO is not just the gun cops; they're the regulatory agency who has the power of economic life & death over your store and everybody who works in it. When an ATF guy walks in, no matter how friendly and cooperative he is, in the back of your mind there is always the lurking thought that this is the guy who can determine, with the stroke of a pen, whether everybody here is going to be able to afford to eat next week or not.
Further, it's hard to imagine an FFL turning down a request that, on its face, seems simple and straightforward: You want me to help in this program you say will put a dent in these narcotrafficantes that are turning the border counties into a movie set from Mad Max? Sure! Where do I sign up?
Talk about getting stuck between a rock and a hard place.