A recent photo of ATF Austin agents at a gun range has sparked criticism on social media regarding their apparent disregard for gun safety. The photo shows an agent on the wrong side of the loading table, with at least one gun pointed at him. This violates one of the most fundamental safety rules instilled in shooters – to never stand between the table and the shooting lanes or shooting area. Moreover, guns should never be pointed at anyone, including oneself. However, the agent in tactical gear appears to have a gun pointed directly at his groin, which is an extremely dangerous move commonly known as “flagging.”
The ATF Austin Office out on the range today with special guests from our local U.S. Attorneys' Offices. pic.twitter.com/568GrEEHLG
— ATF Houston (@ATFHou) July 19, 2023
The photo has led to widespread mockery on Twitter, with users very critical of the ATF agents’ lack of firearm safety. One Twitter user pointed out that if agents are flagging themselves even when they’re being photographed, why should anyone trust them with actual firearms? Another Twitter user expressed that it is evidence of how a common armed citizen probably knows more about gun safety than most with a badge. Yet another Twitter user sarcastically commented that this has all the makings of an episode of the Darwin Awards.
you idiots are in charge of policing our firearms???
— Abby Libby (@abbythelibb_) July 21, 2023
On today's episode of the Darwin Awards…
— Moewii12 (@Moewii12) July 20, 2023
It is extremely concerning that agents of such an important agency as the ATF are failing to uphold basic safety measures when handling firearms. Clearly, the agents in the photo showed a serious lack of safety protocols that could potentially lead to a tragic accident. Even a Twitter user with “USMC” in his bio was alarmed at the numerous safety hazards present in the photo.
Is this the first time you’ve done this? So many safety hazards going on here.
— Wade Miller (@WadeMiller_USMC) July 20, 2023
This goes beyond political affiliation or gun ownership; firearm safety is something that should never be taken lightly and should be strictly enforced at all times. It is unacceptable for those who are supposed to uphold the law to behave recklessly with firearms. We urge the ATF to ensure that their agents receive proper firearm safety training and adhere to strict protocols to prevent incidents like this from happening again. Safety should always be paramount, especially when it comes to firearms.