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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

The Feds Invite You to Report Your Ex for a Valentine's 'Surprise'

"Valentine's Day can still be fun even if you broke up. Do you have information about a former partner involved in illegal gun activity?"

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For some, Valentine’s Day is essentially just Boyfriend Reveal Day on Instagram. For others, namely the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, also known as ATF, it’s a day for revenge-snitching on anyone who’s ever scorned you and has possibly been “involved in illegal gun activity.”

In a truly deranged tweet posted early Monday, ATF insisted that “Valentine’s Day can still be fun even if you broke up,” and called on users to report exes who are possibly engaged in illicit gun-related activity to ATF’s hotline. “We will make sure it’s a Valentine’s Day to remember!” the law enforcement agency tweeted, cheerily. In an accompanying graphic featuring a heart ripped in two, ATF added, “We would love to meet and treat them to a Valentine’s Day surprise!”

Siccing a federal agency on your ex for “illegal gun activity” is, uh, one way to get revenge and comfort yourself on an otherwise pretty depressing holiday. I guess???

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The post is already being criticized by social media users for the obvious reasons, like how calling on people to specifically report exes for vengeance could turn ATF’s hotline into a hotbed for false reporting. 

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ATF’s Valentine’s Day tweet has since been retweeted by the Justice Department, and is mirrored by a Facebook post from the Nash County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. “Do you have an ex-Valentine and know they have outstanding warrants? Give us a call with their location and we’ll take care of the rest,” it reads. “This Valentine’s Day Weekend Special starts off with a set of limited-edition platinum bracelets, free transportation with a chauffeur, [and] a one-night minimum stay in our luxurious accommodations.”

The ATF’s Valentine’s Day push for leads on illegal gun activity comes as the Biden administration continues its ongoing gun safety efforts, which were stalled last year when the president had to withdraw his nomination of David Chipman to lead ATF over his work with Giffords, a progressive group to end gun violence. No new nominee has since been put forward—which might be one possible explanation for the bureau’s recent, eccentric social media activity.