Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

More ATF-linked Gunrunning to Mexico?

Monday, October 30, 2023

More ATF-linked Gunrunning to Mexico?

Astute gun owners will recall the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious scandal. Under that operation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agents would allow suspected illegal purchases of firearms by gun traffickers to take place and then track the guns with the purported goal of uncovering the workings of a larger criminal organization. In some cases, concerned FFLs were instructed by ATF to go forward with suspicious transactions. Rather than interdicting these firearms, ATF permitted the guns to flow into Mexico.

On December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot to death in a gunfight with armed criminals near the Mexican border. Following the incident, firearms used by the criminals were traced to Operation Fast and Furious.

More than a decade later, ATF is now facing questions about another alleged ATF-linked Mexico firearm trafficking scheme. On October 18, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to ATF Director Steven Dettelbach demanding answers about whistleblower allegations of illegal gun smuggling by a former ATF employee.

Citing ATF’s own documents, Sen. Grassley outlined a case involving “an ATF employee working in Mexico who allegedly admitted to illegally trafficking firearms from the U.S. into Mexico for years.”

Summarizing the allegations, the letter noted that a foreign national described as an “ATF Investigator” who was assigned to the ATF office in Tijuana, Mexico “admitted to engaging in trafficking numerous firearms for multiple years.” The alleged trafficker “ordered various firearms parts from the internet and retail stores in the U.S. to traffic into Mexico.” An ATF memo reportedly showed that the ATF employee would bring the trafficked goods to another person who “would complete the AR rifles in Mexico to further sell and traffic the firearms to others in Mexico.” The letter also alleges that the ATF employee trafficked firearms to a Mexican “state judicial official.”

Grassley challenged ATF’s investigation, or lack thereof, into the serious allegations against its employee, writing,

according to the ATF memo and whistleblower disclosures, ATF did not investigate whether [alleged trafficker] had ties to Mexican cartels, whether [his alleged accomplice in Mexico] was connected to the cartel, the full extent of [alleged trafficker’s] trafficking network, whether he had co-conspirators both in the U.S. and Mexico, or if other ATF employees were complicit or involved in his criminal activity. Whistleblower disclosures indicate that [alleged trafficker] used his ATF issued devices and diplomatic vehicle to conduct some or all of his firearm trafficking into the U.S. because his diplomatic plates would not subject him to searches at the U.S. and Mexico borders.

Moreover, Grassley questioned the mild treatment of the alleged trafficker when ATF discovered his conduct.

Despite [alleged trafficker] admitting to illegally trafficking firearms while employed by the ATF, the ATF’s memo downplays [alleged trafficker’s] criminal activity by treating it as a Human Resources administrative matter. For example, the memo provides that the consequence for admitting to engaging in this activity merely was that “[alleged trafficker] was placed on administrative leave on March 14, 2017.” The memo further states that “following an administrative investigation, on April 10, 2017, his employment at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana ended.” According to allegations, the ATF terminated [alleged trafficker] “without cause” and ultimately paid him a severance package after the termination.

Another point of interest is that the alleged trafficking plot was uncovered with the help of a tip from a firearms dealer. The letter noted the existence of an ATF memo “that included information about the ATF’s interrogation and discovery of [alleged trafficker] illegally trafficking firearms into Mexico.” The missive went on to note, “According to the ATF memo, the ATF received a tip from a firearms dealer about suspicious purchases made by [alleged trafficker].”

In recent years, Biden’s ATF has waged a war on Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs or gun dealers). On June 23, 2021, the “Biden-Harris administration” announced a “zero tolerance” policy for what it termed “rogue gun dealers.” The announcement made clear that “[a]bsent extraordinary circumstances that would need to be justified to the Director, ATF will seek to revoke the licenses of dealers the first time that they violate federal law,” even in a handful of trivial instances. There were more than four times as many license revocations in fiscal year 2023 than in 2021.

In an August 18 item on the Biden crackdown, the Wall Street Journal explained how the administration’s approach could diminish the type of cooperation that helped crack the Mexico case. The Journal reported that Biden’s effort prompted some law-enforcement veterans to “say it risks alienating some of the government’s most valuable sources in combating gun violence.” Retired ATF Deputy Assistant Director Peter Forcelli explained, “The gun dealers were our first line of defense against gun trafficking… Why are we now beating an ally into submission?”

Ineffectual Mexican officials and domestic gun control advocates have attempted to shift blame for Mexico’s violent crime problem from that country’s violent criminals and woeful governance to law-abiding Americans who exercise their Second Amendment rights. Both Operation Fast and Furious and ATF’s more recent firearm trafficking episode suggest that holding government more accountable, both in Mexico and at home, would be a more fruitful and just endeavor.

TRENDING NOW
With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

News  

Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

We have long been warning of the rule the Biden ATF has been preparing to redefine who is considered a firearm “dealer” under U.S. law.  The administration’s explicit objective was to move as close to so-called “universal background ...

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

NRA-ILA Scores Injunction Preventing Enforcement of CA Youth Firearms-Advertising Restriction

Friday, April 12, 2024

NRA-ILA Scores Injunction Preventing Enforcement of CA Youth Firearms-Advertising Restriction

Fairfax, Virginia – April 12, 2024…Today, NRA-ILA announced a significant legal victory protecting First Amendment and firearm-related rights, as a California district court preliminarily enjoined enforcement of California’s severe restrictions on the marketing of firearm-related products in the ...

Joe Biden Seems to Hate Cannons as Much as He Hates the Truth

News  

Monday, April 15, 2024

Joe Biden Seems to Hate Cannons as Much as He Hates the Truth

For quite some time, we’ve talked about Joe Biden and his gift for gaffes. Whether it is him losing battles with his teleprompter, his train of thought spectacularly derailing, forgetting which politicians have passed away, or simply mumbling ...

ATF Trafficking Report Reiterates Futility of “Universal” Background Checks

News  

Monday, April 15, 2024

ATF Trafficking Report Reiterates Futility of “Universal” Background Checks

So-called “universal” background checks were back in the news last week. The Biden administration and the regime press were promoting the impression that ATF’s new “engaged in the business” rule closed the non-existent “gun show ...

Maine: Wednesday: Floor Vote on Classifying Shotguns as "Machine Guns"

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Maine: Wednesday: Floor Vote on Classifying Shotguns as "Machine Guns"

Senator Anne Carney, Maine's leading gun grabber, is at it again.

Invisible Crime and Other “Simple Realities”

News  

Monday, April 15, 2024

Invisible Crime and Other “Simple Realities”

Viewers were reminded of the disturbing disconnect between the Biden Administration and everyday Americans on seeing Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation, interviewed on television not too long ago.

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Up For Final Vote in House

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Colorado: Semi-Auto Ban Up For Final Vote in House

HB24-1292 the semi-auto ban passed its second reading yesterday and is scheduled for final vote tomorrow in the House before moving on to the Senate.

Maine: Senate Advances Anti-Gun Bills, Votes on the House Floor are Imminent!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Maine: Senate Advances Anti-Gun Bills, Votes on the House Floor are Imminent!

Late Friday night, the Maine Senate passed a number of extreme anti-gun bills. These bills included 72-hour waiting periods on firearm purchases and transfers, redefining semi-automatic firearms as "machine guns," and implementing universal background check ...

Colorado: Assault Weapons Ban Vote Happening This Week! Merchant Category Mandate Legislation Headed to the Governor

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Colorado: Assault Weapons Ban Vote Happening This Week! Merchant Category Mandate Legislation Headed to the Governor

The Colorado General Assembly continues to throttle down on gun control. Today, House Majority Leader Monica Duran announced that HB24-1292, the so-called “assault weapons” ban, could be voted on as soon as this week after lying ...

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.