Marjorie Taylor Greene tries to interfere with an ATF check on a gun store in Georgia
Republicans in Georgia are falling over themselves to criticise the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) after a story about what appears to have been a routine inspection went viral.
The owner of Adventure Outdoors told local news outlets that he contacted his local congressman, Republican Barry Loudermilk, after more than a dozen ATF agents showed up at his store to perform an inspection of the sprawling business. It wasn’t clear what prompted the call, other than general fear and distrust of federal authority.
What happened next was a bizarre confrontation between Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, who also represents part of Georgia, and the ATF agents outside of the Adventure Outdoors storefront. Video depicts the right-wing congresswoman harranguing the agents in command about how the owners of the business are supposedly being treated, before she corrects herself and remarks that she actually doesn’t know if they are being mistreated by the agents inside.
The video itself only depicts a few seconds of the conversation between Ms Greene and the ATF agents. The agency did not respond to a request for comment from The Independent regarding whether she or other members of Congress (or their staff) obstructed the investigation in any way.
BREAKING IN GA 🚨
ATF agents raid one of the largest gun dealers in the country. Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, GA was met with 16 agents from various states this morning. @rsbn will continue to monitor this story. pic.twitter.com/nKljHg68NR
— Brian Glenn (@brianglenntv) March 27, 2023
But right-wingers are seizing upon video of Ms Greene confronting ATF agents as somehow proof of overreach or outright attempts at intimidation by the Biden administration.
“[T]his appears to be an egregious overreach by Joe Biden’s ATF,” claimed the state’s lieutenant governor Burt Jones on Twitter. “We will be working to investigate this situation to protect this business and Georgians’ [Second Amendment] rights.”
The outrage over the inspection appears to be concocted around the idea that Joe Biden’s administration was attempting to intimidate the owners of a small Georgia business for reasons that have not been explained. There’s no indication that the owners of Adventure Outdoors were hit with any kind of citations or penalties by the ATF, and their only complaint appears to be regarding the number of agents and the fact that some were supposedly from out of state.
An ATF spokesperson explained in a statement to a local news outlet that the number of agents present at the scene was the result of the use of the agency’s Major Inspection Team, which is sometimes used to conduct inspections of larger businesses in a timely fashion.
“ATF will often deploy its Major Inspection Team staffed with investigators from throughout the country to assist with compliance inspections,” the agency said. “The MIT provides support and assistance to field divisions with complex inspections involving large inventories, sites and/or other factors. The MIT concentrates ATF's investigative resources and expertise on inspections where there is a clear need for additional resources while minimizing the time investigators are at a licensee’s business.”