During a recent trip hosted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) to a Denton gun range, I got acquainted with an 80-year-old Thompson M1A1 (“Tommy Gun”) fully automatic submachine gun. It marked my first time holding a loaded weapon in my life.

The trip proved enlightening for two reasons: (1) it exposed me to the training ATF agents undergo to remain qualified; and (2) it underscored the importance of relationship-building with those agents. That day, I gained insight into the field agents’ work, firsthand.

The other interns and I had the opportunity to shoot AK-47s, pistols, an MP-5, an assault rifle and a shotgun. A picture, to prove it really did happen:

Jade

An introduction to an 80-year-old firearm, during a field trip hosted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Photo credit: Jade/SMU Adventures