ATF Gets Roasted on Twitter for Posting Range Photo with Agent Breaking Gun Safety Rules

On Wednesday, the Houston office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives tweeted a photo of ATF Austin agents at the gun range that appears to show an agent on the wrong side of the loading table with at least one gun pointed at him.

The Twitter-sphere lit up with Twitter users mocking the photo.

Here is the tweet:

People familiar with gun ranges know one of the first safety rules a range master instills in shooters is that the shooter does not stand between the table and the shooting lanes or shooting area, but at least one agent in the photo is in that position.

Moreover, guns are never to be pointed at anyone, including oneself. But the agent in tactical gear (on the wrong side of the table) appears to have a gun pointed directly at his groin.

The technical term for pointing a gun at an individual, including oneself, is “flagging.”

A Twitter user seized on the flagging aspect of the photo, writing, “Flagging themselves. Tell me why I should listen to people who flag themselves knowing they’re being photographed?”

Another Twitter user responded to the photo of ATF Austin agents by posting, “Further evidence that the common armed citizen knows more about gun safety than most with a badge.”

And another Twitter user wrote, “On today’s episode of the Darwin Awards…”

A Twitter user with “USMC” in his bio said, “Is this the first time you’ve done this? So many safety hazards going on here.”

Another Twitter user observed, “Wow. Way to show a serious lack of safety protocols.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010 and holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at

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