David Nagel originally recorded video of an ATF inspector taking pictures of his company’s documents to show others what struggles his business was facing. But what Nagel — the owner of Black Metal Firearms LCC — caught on camera has now gone viral. He details to Glenn the threats made by that ATF inspector against his regular customers, the insults she hurled towards all gun owners, and the uphill battle he now faces to restore licensing...
TranscriptBelow is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: We have -- we have a guy who I think is very, very brave. He is the owner of Black Metal Firearms, LLC.
His name is David Nagel. Welcome, David, how are you?
DAVID: I'm excited to be on.
GLENN: You -- I bet before you posted that video, you -- it probably was very difficult. And you probably had a little prayer. Or a lot of thought on it, on whether or not that was the best thing to do. Am I right?
DAVID: Well, to be honest, the video sat in my phone since January. And for the longest time, it was just kind of a game of keep your head down. And hope that they leave you alone.
But as we started hearing more and more news coming down through the industry, it became pretty well apparent, that keeping our head down. Was not going to help us. Because unfortunately, everyone prior to us, also kept their head down. And ended up losing their licenses anyway.
So at a certain point, honestly, it was because we had an irate customer that was upset about kind of rulings that the ATF is putting out, regarding some of the stuff that we sell.
And, you know, he was showing a rather irate level of concern for the legal troubles that he could face. And after listening to him blow up at myself and my wife, over something we have no control over. I kind of felt it was necessary to let everyone know. Like, this is what we're actually dealing with on our end.
And -- it was a kind of spur of the moment. Like, you know what, here's what's really going on.
And we posted the video. I didn't expect it would get nearly as much traction, as it did. I was hoping it would get something. But as you've known to this point, yeah. We did reach out to a lot of different entities prior to this, up to and including the state attorney general.
GLENN: Who is your state attorney general? What state are you in?
GLENN: And your state attorney general didn't help you?
DAVID: So it was kind of a -- it was kind of a -- an indirect meeting, where we voiced our concerns to another FFL that was meeting with him.
And the -- the impression that we got was, sorry, it's a federal thing. We can't help you.
GLENN: That's bullcrap.
DAVID: Now, to be direct, what was discussed at that point, was more about saving our license, rather than the content of the video.
So the content of the video, was something that we had sat on for a while. Because honestly, it's really difficult to say, yes. This is not okay. When you have a federal agent sitting in front of you, and we did, in fact, confront her about it, when she was, in fact, taking pictures of our records. And we asked her, hey, it looks like you're creating a registry. And they said, hey, that would be illegal. So we did what we thought was the best thing we could do, which was record it.
We had quite a bit of recording. A lot of it, we were not able to share, because there was personal information visible in it. You know, contact numbers. Things of that sort.
So we didn't want to put people on blast like that.
GLENN: So when you said, because if I'm not mistaken, look, a lot of people will have a problem like this. Because it looks like you're doing a registry. And you're taking all this information. And didn't she say something about your customers?
DAVID: She said quite a few things about our customers. But to get to what you're referring to. We said, hey, you know, our customers think this is a little off.
And she said, well, it sounds like your customers are just being paranoid. Maybe I should look into them a little bit more.
Which I thought was really creepy.
GLENN: That's a threat. That's a threat.
DAVID: It is. And I have -- I have a customer, who is of Iranian birth, he's been living in the United States for decades. And his name came up. Because he's purchased firearms from us for several times. You know, she was on his list of interesting people.
You know, and at one point, you know -- when she was discussing with us, about our interesting people. And she said, you have a few gun nuts in there. And I politely corrected her. I prefer gun enthusiast. And she said, no, they're nuts.
DAVID: And I felt like that was a kind of backhanded way of describing the average American. Because if we're all nuts, then what are -- what are you governing us for?
GLENN: Right. And what rights do we have in your mind, to be able to have these guns, if -- if I'm a gun collector, which I am, if I'm a gun collector, and I have more guns than somebody in New York City. Does that make me nuts to them?
I think so. But I'm a collector of them. And others who might collect something else. Or might be interested in something else, they might have, you know -- you know, 1,000 Pez dispensers. I might think that's nuts. But that's their passion. And that's what we live with in America. People with different passions.
DAVID: And we're certainly passionate about what we do. A lot of our customers are. I would say, we have some customers that are rather enthusiastic about supporting us.
And we're very happy to see the amount of support that we've gotten. I mean, it has definitely come with its drawbacks. Because a lot of people think it's something that we did wrong. That we are not trustworthy as a business. That we allowed this to occur. But if you were to swap into any of the FFL forums, where this has been discussed. It's extremely prevalent. To the point where, almost every dealer that I've spoken to, in the forums, thinks that I'm out of line for even suggesting that this is wrong. Because it happens everywhere. And I think that --
GLENN: No. But newly happens? Or is this something that's been going on for 20 years?
DAVID: Well, I've only been in business for about eight. And to that end, I've need seen anything like this. We've been audited three prayer times for that.
Audit is different -- audit is different. If I'm not mistaken. The ATF has a right to come in, and should audit you, if there's any discrepancies. You work on those discrepancies. But they don't have a right to your customer list. Unless it's part of the discrepancy. Correct?
DAVID: That is my understanding, yes.
GLENN: Go ahead.
DAVID: Well, according to their handbook, yeah. They're not supposed to make copies of records, and something of the sort, unless it's particularly pertinent to their investigation. Which that would usually be a particular person, or a clerical error in question.
But, I mean, based on our quotes, out of our audit, I didn't have 4,000 entry errors, to cover all the pages that she covered. So I'm curious what exactly her rationale was for copying everything.
And it clearly wasn't part of my audit.
GLENN: Okay. Do you have an attorney?
DAVID: I actually have one for our -- trying to help us retain our license.
I have another one, that we're starting to work with, more with the side of helping our customers, because of the breach of privacy.
GLENN: You started a GoFundMe. It's just GoFundMe. Help Black Metal Firearms. And you can do your own homework. You can follow them and see the Facebook page, where they posted this.
This woman clearly is not a fan of firearms, or people that carry or want to use firearms.
And you have her on tape, taking photos of all of the records. Which is illegal.
I -- I am going to reach out to your -- to your attorney general. Who is your attorney general? I don't know them.
VIVEK: The attorney general is Mark Bunovich.
GLENN: And Republican or Democrat?
DAVID: He is a Republican. He actually is just running for Senate. He didn't make the primary. But he's -- so I -- I don't know what his rationale was for everything that's gone on to this point. Now, again, the scope of what we're trying to do has changed since we indirectly reached out to him. And I have been told by several other people, that are law enforcement in the area, both federal and state. That his jurisdiction on this matter may actually be revised. Because since she was using an i Phone for this particular action, if her data was saved to an i Cloud storage of some sort. That counts as digital transmission of personal information, that does not belong to her. Which is by itself, a state fell any.
So it is something that I think we should probably explore.
But, I mean -- to be kind of honest, I don't know if I have much hope for the outcome on that.
GLENN: Well, we have to have -- we have to start demanding it from our attorneys general. And you did the right thing.
And you keep being loud and calm. And do everything exactly right. But I personally. You know, I'll have our producers look into this a little bit more. And maybe we'll give an update tomorrow and the next day.
But there's got to be a class-action suit. I mean, this is against the law. Yeah. There has to be a class-action.
DAVID: That is the plan. Because we have a lot of customers that were involved in this. We have been handing out pages that basically have the instructions to file a formal complaint against the ATS website, particularly naming this event. So pretty much every customer we've had for the last few years. Technically, going all the way back to the beginning, from 2014. A lot of them are friends of mine from Facebook. Because they were our garage days. And a lot of them were people that have been in and out of our store, for the last several years. So we've been trying to let everyone know. So they do get documented, as complaining -- filing a formal complaint. Make sure they get the complaint number.
So that way, there is some sort of traceable proof. Because, you know, we don't want documents to go missing.
GLENN: All right. Thank you so much. We're going to check back with you, David.
David is the owner of Black Metal Firearms. If you would like to help them, with their fight to keep their license. And also for attorney help. You can do go to GoFundMe. Help Black Metal Firearms. Help Black Metal Firearms.
Thank you, David. We'll be in touch again. Let us know if there's any update in between, will you?
DAVID: Thank you, Glenn, I will.
GLENN: You bet. Thank you.