Highwood Creek Outfitters in Great Falls, Montana was raided by 20 armed IRS and ATF agents in an unannounced raid.
A gun store in Great Falls, Montana was subjected to an unannounced raid by twenty armed agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The agents confiscated all Form 4473s, which contain crucial information about buyers during firearms transactions. The raid on Highwood Creek Outfitters, owned by Tom Van Hoose, has raised eyebrows and ignited a debate over potential political motivations.
Van Hoose says his shop has a good relationship with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fiearms, which was also present. He says because his shop carries “fun guns” like AR-15’s and AK-47s their level of licensing draws more scrutiny.
“We have a reputation of dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s because there’s so much legal fun to be had,” said Van Hoose. “It’s just not worth doing things that are going to get you in trouble.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) is demanding answers after he says a group of armed IRS agents raided and temporarily closed a Montana gun shop in Great Falls Wednesday.
“This event is another example of President Biden weaponizing federal agencies to target and harass hardworking Americans for exercising their constitutional rights,” Rosendale said in a letter to leaders of the Internal Revenue Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “There is no circumstance in which 4473s would be necessary in an investigation spearheaded by the IRS.”
According to KRTV, the store owner claims that he has been under constant surveillance by state and federal agencies for over two years. The unexpected visit from the heavily armed IRS agents on Wednesday morning marked the culmination of this prolonged scrutiny. He was puzzled by the raid, stated, “We have now confirmed that both the IRS and the ATF were at Highwood Creek Outfitters in Great Falls around 7 am this morning. Both the IRS and ATF would not say why they were there.”
While the IRS spokeswoman confirmed that the agents were on official business, she refrained from providing any additional details. The ATF, on the other hand, asserted that they were merely providing assistance to the IRS. The news outlet KMON Radio attempted to enter the store but was stopped by agents who announced that the gun store was closed and would reopen the following day.
In an interview with MTN News, the owner expressed his frustration and confusion about the ongoing investigation. He claimed that his business had been reported but remained in the dark regarding the identity of the reporter and the reasons behind it. He suggested that the raid could be politically motivated, given the nationwide controversy surrounding certain types of firearms. “I can only assume that it’s because of the style of weapons that we have and the press that’s so against them. The current administration seems to be hell-bent on getting those guns out of the hands of average Americans,” he remarked.
“The weaponization of our government must be STOPPED, which is why I sent a letter to ATF Director Dettelbach and IRS Commissioner Werfel demanding answers about this outrageous attack, and have used every tool available to me to remove funding for the 87,000 additional IRS agents!” Rep. Rosendale wrote in a Facebook post Friday.
Rosendale responded to initial reports of the investigation on Flag Day, June 14, saying he was “incredibly disturbed” about the armed agents reportedly closing Highwood Creek Outfitters without warning.
As the controversy surrounding the raid on Highwood Creek Outfitters unfolds, the true motivations behind the investigation remain shrouded in secrecy. The gun store owner, Tom Van Hoose, and his supporters continue to question whether political motivations played a role in the unprecedented raid, further fueling the ongoing debate on gun rights and federal agency overreach.