The homeowner was alerted there were trespassers on his property by motion detectors outside his front door. A live video feed from his doorbell camera showed three armed men wearing tactical vests, t-shirts and jeans. Two appeared to be ATF agents. The third was a Delaware State Police trooper. None wore body cameras.
The homeowner, who did not want his name used in this story, is a small businessman – a law abiding citizen who even ATF acknowledged had done nothing wrong. He went to his front door hesitantly. He left his doorbell camera running to record the encounter.
The homeowner confronted the three men before they reached the door. “Can I help you?” he asked, stepping onto the porch.
The older ATF agent told him they were assigned to a task force investigating straw purchases. A straw purchase – a federal felony – occurs when someone buys a firearm on behalf of another person, who is unable to legally purchase a firearm themselves.