Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Draft DOJ Report Faults BATFE, But Not Gun Control

Friday, September 24, 2010

A draft report prepared by the Justice Department Inspector General's Evaluation and Inspections Division calls into question the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' (BATFE) performance in carrying out the mandates of its Project Gunrunner program, established in 2007 to combat the trafficking of firearms to Mexico. The report also contradictorily suggests that BATFE's ability to meet the program's objectives might be enhanced by federal laws requiring the filing of multiple sales reports on long guns, and requiring some or all private sales of firearms to be screened by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

One contradiction is that the report complains that BATFE's "focus remains largely on inspections of gun dealers and investigations of straw purchasers, rather than on higher-level traffickers, smugglers, and the ultimate recipients of the trafficked guns." But requiring multiple sales reports on long guns and requiring private sales to go through NICS would mainly facilitate even more investigations of straw purchasers. And there's another contradiction. If, as some claim, straw purchasers are the primary source of firearms bought in the U.S. for resale to the cartels, and that straw purchasers can defeat NICS checks, the smuggling of firearms from the U.S. to Mexico can't be significantly reduced by requiring that private sales be subject to NICS. After all, a straw purchaser who can pass a NICS check can pass it regardless of whether the gun is being bought from a dealer or someone who is not a dealer.

Also, BATFE doesn't follow up on most of the multiple sales reports it receives on handguns, so there's little reason to think it would do things any differently with reports on long guns. Theoretically, more multiple sales reports and NICS checks would make it easier for BATFE to conduct commercial record traces on firearms, but as the report points out, "most trace requests that are submitted to ATF from Mexico are considered 'unsuccessful.'" Only 27 percent of traces between 2007 and 2009, on firearms seized in Mexico, were successful.

BATFE traces are of such dubious value that, the report notes, "Mexican law enforcement authorities do not view gun tracing as an important investigative tool. . . . One Mexican official stated that U.S. officials talk of eTrace as if it is a 'panacea' but that it does nothing for Mexican law enforcement. An official in the Mexico Attorney General's office told us he felt eTrace is 'some kind of bad joke.'"

To its credit, the draft report correctly points out that Mexico requests BATFE to trace only about one quarter of the firearms that it seizes from the cartels, a fact which implies that a significant share of the cartels' guns come from countries other than the United States. To put it simply, if the Mexican police recover a machine gun with Communist Chinese markings on it, they know it didn't come from the U.S., and they are not going to waste time requesting a trace from BATFE. The Mexicans are interested in squashing the cartels, not in racking up trace numbers to spruce up BATFE press releases.

TRENDING NOW
National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

America lost a civil rights icon and a true free thinker with the death of Roy Innis on Jan. 8. For the NRA, his departure was personal. Mr. Innis served on the NRA’s Board of ...

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jeff Sessions’ Devotion to the Constitution Shines Through in Contentious Confirmation Hearing

On January 10 and 11, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held the confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Throughout his distinguished career in public service, ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

The FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report earlier this week and the bad news is that violent crime increased for the second consecutive year.

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

News  

Hunting  

Monday, January 9, 2017

NRA Applauds the Introduction of the Hearing Protection Act, H.R. 367

FAIRFAX, Va. – The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Congressmen Jeff Duncan (SC) and John Carter (TX-31) on Monday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that gives gun owners and sportsmen ...

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

News  

Friday, January 6, 2017

Gun Shy Professor Claims Need to Counter Campus Carry

Do you look back on your college years and remember the impassioned debates, when disagreements over the Periodic Table of Elements, theories of supply and demand, or the status of Pluto as a planet could ...

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Next Week - Make Your Opposition Known to Pre-Filed Gun Control Bills SB 48 and HB 50

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Mexico Legislature Convenes Next Week - Make Your Opposition Known to Pre-Filed Gun Control Bills SB 48 and HB 50

The New Mexico Legislature convenes for its 2017 Regular Session on Tuesday, January 17.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.