A Bellevue gun collector once detained as a material witness in the slaying of a federal prosecutor in Seattle is suing the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Albert K. Kwan was not a suspect in the still-unsolved October 2001 shooting of assistant U.S. attorney Thomas Wales, but investigators detained him for three weeks in 2005 because they believed he might have information about the case.
Kwan’s complaint, filed May 20 in U.S. District Court, says that in March the ATF denied him a federal firearms license, which allows people to import, manufacture or sell firearms. It says the ATF found that he had “willfully violated” the Gun Control Act, but it does not say how Kwan allegedly did so.
Kwan’s lawyer, Joseph Conte, said last week that he does not believe the denial was related to the Wales investigation. Instead, he said, it was partly because of an earlier dispute in which Kwan had declined to allow ATF agents to search his bedroom during a premises check.