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
Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rep. Rob Bishop Introduces the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act"

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources Rob Bishop (R-UT) introduced H.R. 2620, the "Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act." This bill would remove ATF's authority to use the ...

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Concealed Carrying Hits New High, Underscores Need for National Law

Information collected by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) indicates an unprecedented surge in the number of concealed carry permits, with the largest one-year increase on record occurring between May 2016 and May 2017.

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Legislation Reintroduced to Permanently Dismantle Obama-Era Enforcement Abuse

This week, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) reintroduced the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, a bill aimed at permanently dismantling Operation Choke Point (OCP).  

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

News  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Abbott Signs Senate Bill 16, Bringing Texas License To Carry Fees Down to Among Lowest in Nation

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for signing into law NRA-backed legislation that will make license to carry fees in Texas among the lowest in the ...

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

New Zealand Police Mislead Current and Prospective Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

New Zealand Police Mislead Current and Prospective Gun Owners

Back in April, NRA-ILA alerted readers to the results of the New Zealand Parliament Law and Order Committee’s “Inquiry into issues relating to the illegal possession of firearms in New Zealand,” which proposed that a ...

Public Health Researchers Use Common Gun Control Tactic to Mislead on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Public Health Researchers Use Common Gun Control Tactic to Mislead on “Children” and Guns

It is one of the most well-worn tactics of those who advocate for gun control. Step one, acquire statistics on firearms injuries among children ages 0-14. Step two, combine these relatively low numbers with the ...

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators Attempting to Get “Assault Weapon” Language into law

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Illinois: Anti-Gun Legislators Attempting to Get “Assault Weapon” Language into law

This week, Senator Antonio Munoz filed Senate Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 556.

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.