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.