An Amish dairyman living in Pennsylvania had his firearms seized by the ATF as part of an investigation. Here is what we know so far about this “gun bust.”
ATF Raids Cattail Foundry —
According to the Lancaster Online website, on January 12th, the ATF seized firearms from “Cattail Foundry,” a farm operated by Reuben King. The investigation involves King, who they accused of illegal firearm sales.
King admits he sold firearms but denies breaking any laws. He said:
I’m not going to deny that I was selling some.
The ATF licenses firearms dealers. The law requires that dealers follow laws and regulations in selling firearms.
King said that all the guns he owns or has sold are part of his personal collection. While he admitted he had sold guns, King says he is not a dealer.
Is Reuben King a Gun Dealer —
The ATF apparently believes King is a dealer, although the definition of a dealer is somewhat subjective. It is a practice that unless someone is engaged in repetitive buying and selling guns, they are not considered a firearms dealer. Other factors would also go into determining if someone was considered a dealer. Some indications of a dealer could be, keeping a private collection of firearms separate from others or displaying or advertising firearms for sale.
Among a slew of other regulations, dealers must conduct background checks for all firearm sales and see that the buyer has a photo identification.
King denies being a dealer and said:
This is my business, I’m a dairyman.
I was not dealing in handguns, positively not.
King said he never advertised gun sales and only sold guns from his private collection to other Amish people who wanted them for hunting. Interestingly, the Amish abstain from being photographed and thus would not have photo identification. They would not, therefore, be able to purchase a firearm from an FFL.
Is Reuben King a Private Seller —
If King is not a dealer, he is not subject to the exact requirements as an FFL.
Furthermore, like other states, Pennsylvania allows private parties (those who are not dealers) to sell firearms without a background check. This rule applies only to long guns, anything over 15″. Transferring handguns must go through an FFL. Additionally, the person selling the gun must not know that the buyer is prohibited.
If what King said is accurate, and he wasn’t routinely selling guns, and the guns he sold were long guns to people he did not know were prohibited, he didn’t violate any laws.
Of course, I don’t know anything more than what the news reported. It’s always possible King was selling more guns than Obama and Biden did during Fast and Furious.
It seems that King has earned special attention from the ATF. In states where it is legal to sell guns privately, make sure you’re following the law, so you don’t get caught in some mess like the one Reuben King finds himself in.
We spent a lot of time creating the best legal resource that you can use to determine any state’s firearm laws, and much, much more. Our App called Concealed Carry Gun Tools is completely free and provides legal information for every state and DC.