ATF seizes guns from home; man wants them returned - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ATF seizes guns from home; man wants them returned

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Louis Fletcher shows us the chamber of his muzzle loading rifle. This isn't like your modern-day rifle with a magazine for bullets.

He calls this a collector gun, something he started doing after a felony in the 1980's. Now his wife has built her collections of guns.

Last month things changed when Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm & Explosives agents visited his home telling his wife to turn over all her guns because of Fletcher's felony.

They questioned him about a handgun someone, who acting interested in buying it, ended up stealing.

Fletcher says, "I went to get him something to drink and he slipped it in her pocket and left immediately."

Fletcher says agents told him he can't have any weapons in the home even though his civil rights had been restored over two decade ago.

They seized 11 handguns, two shotguns and five rifles worth nearly $7,000.

Attorney Gerald Tidwell says some state laws allow convicted felons to own certain types of guns.

"If he was restricted to muzzle loaders or shotguns and had hand guns, the federal law would kick in and those would be seized."

Fletcher says his more than five years in federal prison are keeping him from a gun collection hobby.

"If that is what my debt amounted to then I paid that in full. More than in full."

Tidwell says, "The fact he doesn't own them is irrelevant. The fact they are in the home is what's relevant."

Fletcher hopes to clear the air with agents soon and get the guns back in the safe.

"I want to see is my wife get her property back. Period."

Our call to ATF agents have not been returned.

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