SMYRNA, Ga. — Lt. Gov. Burt Jones vowed an investigation Monday after an apparent visit by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to a Smyrna gun store.
11Alive contacted ATF to confirm the nature of the bureau's presence at Adventure Outdoors, which was posted about by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Late Monday night the bureau confirmed it had been conducting an inspection.
The presence of ATF was observed by fellow Georgia Republican Reps. Barry Loudermilk, Mike Collins and Rich McCormick as well, according to Greene's post. General Manager Eric Wallace confirmed in a phone call Monday night that the store was under inspection by ATF.
Wallace said he called his representative Congressman Loudermilk when the inspection started Friday, saying the number of investigators was unprecedented.
In a statement, ATF said it will "often deploy its Major Inspection Team staffed with investigators from throughout the country to assist with compliance inspections" when there is a "clear need for additional resources while minimizing the time investigators are at a licensee's business."
The full ATF statement can be found at the bottom of this article.
Lt. Gov. Jones reposted a video of the Congress members speaking to a person wearing an ATF public information officer jacket. He wrote: "Adventure Outdoors is one of the largest and most respected businesses in our state — and this appears to be an egregious overreach by Joe Biden’s ATF. We will be working to investigate this situation to protect this business and Georgians’ 2A rights."
The business on South Cobb Drive is broadly considered one of the largest gun stores in the country. A gun control advocacy group that tracks ATF inspections, Brady United Against Gun Violence, lists the store's last inspection as coming in 2017.
"We've always had a friendly relationship," Wallace said about ATF. He added that the store often goes under routine inspections that typically last four to six weeks. "All of our inspections have been fine."
Wallace said the family-owned business has always followed policies and documented sales as required.
"We're proud of the policies in place," he said.
The presence of ATF at Adventure Outdoors comes the same week that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is scheduled to make an appearance at the store, on Thursday.
Wallace said DeSantis is expected to host a book signing event and bring a crowd.
"I wish I was spending more time preparing for the event but this ATF audit is taking priority," he said.
ATF is expected back at the store Tuesday, Wallace said.
The bureau's full statement said:
Compliance inspections of federal firearms licensees are conducted daily across the country. While never “routine,” there were almost 7,000 compliance inspections completed by ATF in Fiscal Year 2022.
ATF will often deploy its Major Inspection Team staffed with investigators from throughout the country to assist with compliance inspections. 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.