GFPD Issued Press Release Last Week And Statement Last Night On Gun Store Raid

There have been a number of questions from the community about the IRS/ATF raid on a Great Falls gun store.

In response, here is some further information concerning the involvement of the Great Falls Police Department in that event.

First here is a a screenshot of the email that city commissioners received from GFPD Captain John Schaffer this morning showing the press press release concerning the incident sent out to local media on Thursday June 15 at 3:00 PM, the day after the raid. There has been no attempt to ‘cover up’, or ‘play mum’, or stall by GFPD.

Second, below is the transcript from last nights Great Falls City Commission meeting where Captain Schaffer laid out the basic facts. I then asked a few follow-up questions. You can view the statement and exchange here starting at 1:01:40 of the video.

Captain Schaffer: I just wanted to provide a little bit of background on what took place last week involving Highwood Creek Outfitters and the Great Falls Police Department’s involvement there.

We were notified last Friday by the Internal Revenue Service that they were requesting a standby to provide scene security on a search warrant that they were going to execute, and that’s search warrant was going to be done on last Wednesday. We were not told of the location, we were not told of the contents of the search warrant, we knew nothing about what the search warrant entailed, only that the IRS was asking us for standby assistance.

On the morning of the search warrant we were told where it was, we responded with 2 officers that were in uniform and in a marked squad car and we were there to provide scene security.

We were there for about a total of a half hour, and then released by the IRS.

That is about the extent of what the Great Falls Police Department knows what happened there.

Commissioner Tryon: The request for assistance for that raid, you guys get those once in a while from various other law enforcement agencies, is that correct?

Captain Schaffer: Yes, Commissioner. Whether it be at the state level the local level or the federal level we have partners at all of those.

Commissioner Tryon: I’m just asking these questions because I’m getting the questions as well, so are there state laws or other pertinent statutes that apply or that would be applicable to that situation?

Captain Schaffer: Well, not necessarily that situation, but depending on who asked us if it involves any federal firearms laws there’s Montana code annotated that we have to follow when it comes to whether not we’re gonna get involved.

Commissioner Tryon: But you didn’t know that there was a firearms store when you were…

Captain Schaffer: This was the IRS that asked us for help and we did not know the location where it was going to be.

Commissioner Tryon: And you weren’t providing ‘paddy wagon service’ for the IRS?

Captain Schaffer: No sir.

Commissioner Tryon: Thank you.

Posted by Rick Tryon

Rick Tryon is an entrepreneur, a singer-songwriter, and is currently serving a four year term as a Great Falls City Commissioner. Helping Montana become an even greater place to live, play and work is Tryon's passion.

Reader interactions

5 Replies to “GFPD Issued Press Release Last Week And Statement Last Night On Gun Store Raid”

  1. Steven Vinnedge June 21, 2023 at 4:06 PM

    Two officers for scene security. Security from whom? Security for who? I can’t imagine sending officers without knowing the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys. No briefing before and after? Who is the subject? What is his or her or their criminal history (ies)? Are there known troublemakers? Will there be people who are not subjects in attendance? Are there officers who are not in uniform / undercover? Is there a valid signed warrant? Who is the judge? What is the court of jurisdiction? What are the specific items named in the search warrant to be seized? Where will those items be located? Could civilians walk out with important evidence? The press release does not give me a good feeling that due diligence is in play.


  2. One question at a time. You know that those involved cannot deal with multiple questions all at once. Here is an even better idea. No questions at all. You won’t get any truthful answers from them, and they will “answer” with something not related to the situation.


  3. Upon further dissection of this incident, one question seems to apply above all others. If a warrant is claimed to exist, the person(s) being told of said warrant have a right to ask for and see said warrant, signed by a judge. It is not enough to claim or say it exists, it must be produced and shown when inquired of and/or demanded to be produced. The old, “Trust, but verify” adage applies.


    1. Keith you have forgotten when George W.Bush and Dick Cheney created the Patriot Act,the requirement for a signed Judicial Warrant went out the window.Administrative Search Warrants are the norm now,with DHS the umbrella for DEA,ATF,CBP,INS,etc.
      Hate to break it to you no ongoing Criminal Investigation leaks or hands over details on demand because something something.For your homework this week,download the Patriot Act and note how Freedom of Speech,Right to Assemble,and Right to Judicial Search Warrants were neatly gotten rid of on the heels of 9/11.Oh I am sure nobody cared that supported W.and Cheney,and are unaware that those Rights were stripped long ago.


  4. What law replaced the Patriot Act?


    On June 2, 2015, Obama signed the Senate-approved USA FREEDOM (Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring) Act into law, which replaced the USA PATRIOT Act and curtailed the government’s authority to collect data. May 11, 2023

    I thought I would add this in case this some are not aware of this.


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