- Members of Congress come from all sorts of backgrounds, but most don’t own a gun store.
- Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia’s 9th Congressional District is the owner of Clyde Armory in Athens.
- According to Clyde’s financial disclosure, the store is worth up to $25 million.
Support for Second Amendment rights and firearm ownership are conservative staples in Congress.
But as lawmakers again debate firearm restrictions in the aftermath of an elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, a member Congress actually owns a gun store: Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia’s 9th Congressional District.
When not working in Washington, DC, Clyde leads the No. 4-ranked firearm store in Athens, Georgia, according to Yelp: Clyde Armory.
According to Clyde’s 2021 federal financial disclosure, the congressman’s stake in the store is worth anywhere between $5 million and $25 million, and it earned him between $1 million and $5 million in income in 2020 alone.
In addition to being a retail gun store, the armory also acts as “law enforcement supply,” per the disclosure.
The store’s website shows it sells a multitude of firearms and accessories, including military-style semiautomatic rifles, weapon silencers, and ballistic helmets.
Among the items for sale at Clyde Armory: a Colt-manufactured AR-15 rifle for $1,349.95 and a .50 caliber semi-automatic rifle for $11,384.95.
Clyde is supported by the National Rifle Association — the organization’s political action committee donated $1,000 to Clyde’s campaign in 2020, according to nonpartisan research group OpenSecrets.
Representatives from Clyde’s office did not respond to Insider’s questions and request for comment.
But according to Clyde’s campaign website, he’s got big plans for firearm rights in Congress. He wants to:
- Repeal several taxes on firearms and ammunition
- Deregulate weapon silencers, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns
- Eliminate the Brady background check system
In December 2020, Clyde told Fox News that the nation’s current gun background check system is flawed and “puts the federal government between the Constitution and the individual in a way that denies the person their individual constitutional right. That’s not right.”
The congressman also spoke out in March against firearm records kept by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
“As a steadfast supporter of the Second Amendment and a Federal Firearms Licensee by trade, I find the ATF’s egregious abuse of power deeply unsettling and in need of swift action from Congress in order to protect law-abiding gun owners’ privacy and Second Amendment rights,” Clyde said alongside members of the House Second Amendment Caucus.
Clyde, a freshman representative, may be best known for equating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol to “a normal tourist visit.”
He sits on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Homeland Security Committee. He’s also a member of the House Freedom Caucus.
Clyde coasted to victory in his Republican primary Tuesday night, easily defeating his GOP challengers.
Being in a “Safe R” district, he’s likely to win re-election in November, according to Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.