Smyrna gun store alleges ATF inspection was ‘targeted’
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, is sounding the alarm after what they’re calling an “unprecedented” visit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
All of this happening just days before Florida’s Governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis plans to visit.
Owner and general manager Eric Wallace tells Atlanta News First they’re used to routine inspections, but not one like this.
“I haven’t heard of another FFL that’s had 16 investigators sit in at one time. It seems extreme to me,” said Wallace.
Wallace says he contacted Georgia congressman Barry Loudermilk on Saturday also sharing concerns about the inspectors being from out of state. Loudermilk and three other Georgia congressional members, Mike Collins, Rich McCormick, and Marjorie Taylor Green, visited the family-owned store on Monday.
In a tweet, Taylor Greene said “this is a prime example of Joe Biden and the democrats weaponizing federal agencies to silence and intimidate their political opponents.”
“We don’t target stores in ATF. We don’t have the manpower nor do we have the cultural reasoning to do something like that,” said Scena Webb, director of industry operations for the Atlanta field office.
The ATF says 16 investigators is not out of the norm nor are some people coming from out of state given the agency’s limited staff. When asked if the DeSantis’ visit affected the timing of their inspection, the agency said this:
“Our visits have nothing to do with elected officials coming or going,” said Webb.
But that’s not convincing everyone.
Georgia Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones tweeted he wants to investigate what he calls an “egregious overreach.”
“It seems suspicious to me at a minimum. They told us they’re unrelated,” said Wallace.
The ATF says the inspection started on Friday and it could take about two weeks.
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