Operation Gunrunner, also known as Operation Fast & Furious, has been a bit of an embarrassment to the BATFE to say the least. The operation, which knowingly permitted illegal straw purchases to go through, knowing that the guns would be send south of the boarder to Mexican drug gangs, hasn’t gone as sunny as planners had hoped. Now, the spotlight in turning onto Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department.
The ATF’s acting director, Kenneth Melson, has been singing like a canary to congressional investigators as he pushes back against administration pressure for him to resign and take the fall for something that, at the very least, had to include the US Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and possibly the Homeland Security Department.
In a letter to Holder released yesterday, Rep. Daryl Issa and Sen. Chuck Grassley accused the Justice Department of blocking their investigation into the burgeoning scandal (which has resulted in the deaths of at least two American agents and countless Mexican civilians), muzzling the ATF and involving other federal agencies, including the FBI and the DEA, in funding the crackpot scheme.
“The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons, but that taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities,” they wrote.
NBC’s David Gregory may be in a bit of trouble for having a 30 round AR-15 magazine on his show, Meet the Press, recently. The issue is that the show is filmed in Washington, DC, and 30 round magazines are illegal in the District of Columbia. It’s been widely reported that Gregory sought permission from DC law enforcement to use the prop, and was told no.
Now, it appears that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is saying that they told the anti-gun journalist that it was fine to use the magazine.
The ATF official told CNN on Thursday that a reporter with NBC News - not Gregory - called ATF last Friday to inquire whether it would be legal to have ammunition or an empty magazine on the set of the Sunday show, which is broadcast from Washington.
The ATF official said he reached out to officers with the MPD to ask if that was permissible.
“What was relayed back to me - which turned out to be a miscommunication - is ammunition was not legal unless (in the possession of an officer), but a magazine was not a problem,” said the official, who passed along the information to NBC.
The detail about empty magazines being legal in Washington was apparently inaccurate. Possessing a large-capacity ammunition device, such as a magazine, is illegal in the District of Columbia if the device holds more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
Of course, BATFE allegedly relayed the information to Gregory’s people and the host used the magazine. The official also told CNN that he did not give Gregory permission, only relayed the information as he understood it.
The Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America isn’t known for pulling punches at all. Considered by many in the 2A culture to be a much more principled alternative to the NRA, they tend to take a “no compromises” role on issue regarding our right to keep and bear arms. Now, they’re taking it to a whole new level. Now, they want to eliminate the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).
In a statement on the group’s website, the group talks about Operation Fast and Furious which permitted the illegal straw buys of firearms here in the United States and allowed the illegal transport across the border into Mexico where they were used. This revelation, which has been going on for quite some time, comes after months of gun control advocates claimed that a huge percentage of the drugs recovered in Mexico could be traced to the US.
No wonder they had a stat like that…BATFE allowed the illegal sale of guns knowing what they would be used for and did nothing despite these things called “laws” that they’re supposed to enforce.
From GOA’s statement:
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has shone a spotlight on the criminal behavior of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, commonly referred to as the ATF. At a hearing last week, Issa took on Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich by asking him: “Who authorized this program that was so felony stupid it got people killed.”
Chairman Issa started off the interrogation of Weich by holding up one of the pages that the ATF had provided his committee. It was completely blackened, one of hundreds that had been totally redacted by the agency. (You can see a picture of this on GOA’s website.) Issa told Weich that this was unacceptable and that he was tired of the lack of cooperation at the Department of Justice.