Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

BATFE's "Project Gunrunner" Comes Under Additional Scrutiny

Friday, February 25, 2011

We have previously reported on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' "Project Gunrunner" and its inherent problems.  Established in 2007, this program sought to expand the agency's firearm tracing operations to address trafficking to Mexico. A CBS News story this week brought more scrutiny and additional questions to bear on the controversial program.  

The CBS News story detailed the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.  Guns found at the scene of the murder were allegedly obtained by a "gun runner" in Arizona, and then sent to criminals in Mexico.  And, according to the story, BATFE was not only aware of the situation, but may have inadvertently facilitated it.

The story details how, in late 2009, BATFE was alerted to suspicious transactions at seven gun shops in the Phoenix area.  The story alleges that several gun shops wanted to stop the questionable sales, but BATFE encouraged them to continue.

Apparently, Jaime Avila was one of the suspicious buyers. The story reports that BATFE put Avila in its suspect database in January of 2010, and, for the next year, watched as Avila and other suspects bought large quantities of firearms for "personal use."  The purchases included 575 semi-automatic rifles, most of which were allegedly allowed by BATFE managers to be "moved to the streets" for the reported purpose of gathering intelligence and to see where the guns ended up. The story reports that the tactic is called letting the guns "walk, " and quotes one unnamed BATFE agent who called the strategy "insane," and another who said, "We were fully aware the guns would probably be moved across the border to drug cartels where they could be used to kill."

The story goes on to note that, hours after Agent Terry was gunned down, BATFE arrested Avila, and the U.S. Attorney's office has since indicted 34 suspected gunrunners in the same group.

Reportedly, the Justice Department has said that BATFE has never knowingly allowed the sale of "assault weapons" to suspected gunrunners.

As we detailed in last week's Grassroots Alert, the U.S. House has voted for an amendment to a continuing appropriations bill offered by Reps. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) and Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) that would prohibit the use of federal funds for the new and unauthorized multiple sales reporting scheme proposed by BATFE.  The measure passed the chamber (277-149) with broad bipartisan support.

BATFE is demanding the authority to require all of the 8,500 firearm dealers in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to report all sales of two or more semi-automatic rifles within five consecutive business days, if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber and use detachable magazines. The CBS report casts continuing doubt on whether BATFE could make any effective use of the thousands of new reports the agency would receive under this proposal.

TRENDING NOW
Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

The NRA applauds Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law, an NRA-backed bill that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

News  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

On Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court created a dangerous new exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a strong safeguard for our right to keep and bear arms.  

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Introduced, Legislator Bill Introduction Deadline Extended

Monday, March 18, 2019

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Introduced, Legislator Bill Introduction Deadline Extended

Today, Assembly Bill 291 was introduced by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-41).  This omnibus anti-gun legislation is a threat to both gun owners residing in Nevada and those who are visiting. 

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

News  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

NRA applauds the Vermont Superior Court for allowing a lawsuit challenging the State's ban on standard capacity magazines to proceed. 

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

Hunting  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

On March 20th, the Iowa state House of Representatives voted 57-40 to pass House File 716 to improve hunting opportunities in Iowa by expanding the types of cartridges that may be used for hunting.  HF 716 will ...

Yesterday’s Scandal, Today’s Mandate: Anti-gunner Embraces Operation Choke Point as Official Policy

News  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Yesterday’s Scandal, Today’s Mandate: Anti-gunner Embraces Operation Choke Point as Official Policy

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) unabashedly embraced the tactics behind one of the most shameful policies of the Obama era, openly using the guise of her federal authority to berate and not so ...

Utah: Self-Defense Bill Heads to the Governor’s Desk as Multiple Gun Control Bills Fail at the End of Session

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Utah: Self-Defense Bill Heads to the Governor’s Desk as Multiple Gun Control Bills Fail at the End of Session

The Utah Legislature has adjourned from its 2019 Legislative session.

Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

News  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

Last month, the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) concluded two days of hearings on Bill C-71, the Liberal government’s gun control bill. (An additional hearing date has been set for March 18, ...

Colorado: Senate Committee Rapidly Passes “Red Flag” Bill to the Senate Floor With Little Notice

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Colorado: Senate Committee Rapidly Passes “Red Flag” Bill to the Senate Floor With Little Notice

With less than 12 hours-notice to the public, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed gun control legislation, House Bill 1177, this morning.

Washington: NRA & SAF Lawsuit Against City of Edmonds Moves Forward

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Washington: NRA & SAF Lawsuit Against City of Edmonds Moves Forward

On March 20th, the Washington Superior Court rejected the defendant’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation against the City of Edmonds to invalidate the mandatory firearm storage ordinance ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.