Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) accused the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives of retaliating against a Florida whistleblower.
Brandon’s ATF harassed and stalked Chris Smith, a Florida gun shop owner who testified before Congress on the weaponization of the ATF.
Rep. Gaetz said shortly after Chris Smith testified on the weaponization of the ATF in June, ATF agents showed up at his store ‘Gulf Coast Gun’ unannounced looking to inspect a manufacturer’s license.
“After Chris’ testimony at my Field Hearing on the Weaponization of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, ATF agents showed up at his business unprompted to inspect a manufacturer’s license he has held for only six months: Given Chris has not yet used the license, the agents had nothing to inspect and had no choice but to leave,” Gaetz wrote, according to the letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.
“The ATF had previously audited Chris’ retail license within the last year, and it follows that given the ATF is forbidden from auditing the same business twice in one year, the only excuse the ATF had to harass Chris further was to audit a new, unused manufacturer’s license,” Gaetz said.
“The local ATF agent admitted that he had no records Chris was using the license, but nevertheless received a direct order to audit Chris’ new license,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz said ATF agents stalked Smith and even showed up unannounced at his store manager’s home.
“In addition to this violation of federal law, the ATF showed up uninvited to the home of Christian O’Brien, Chris’ store manager, without making an appointment, as he does not have business hours,” he wrote. “Christian does not sell any firearms or perform any business on behalf of Gulf Coast Gun. Christian was not home at the time, so the agents called him and told him: ‘Don’t worry, we know where you work.’ This kind of stalking is unwarranted and creepy.”
Gaetz asked ATF Director Steven Dettelbach to answer a series of questions related to the agency’s actions against Smith and O’Brien.