Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Approved Sales to Mexican Gun Runners -Truth!

Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Approved Sales to Mexican Gun Runners –Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded email with a YouTube video link of a report that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed an Arizona gun dealer to complete weapons transactions, even if employees suspected that the products would end up South of the border and in the hands of drug gangs.

The Truth:
The video and allegations are real, according to various news agencies.

On March 3, 2011, CBS News reported allegations that  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents were ordered to stand down and allow thousands of weapons to enter Mexico from the US in a tactic called “Letting Guns Walk.”

According to the report, this was an ATF planned operation to track weapons that would later be found in crime scenes and hopefully allow agents to gather intelligence that would lead toward the apprehension of not just the gun runners but the actual drug cartels.
Also, know as “Operation Fast and Furious,” the plan did not work and blew up to become the “agency’s biggest scandal in nearly two decades,” according to a June 18, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal.   The article also said, “the ATF Phoenix office ran the program in 2009-2010 to monitor weapons purchases by suspected gun smugglers.”

Congressman Darrel Issa (R, California  and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) are leading the congressional inquiry of the failed operation that was sparked after an Arizona shootout in December 2010, which resulted in the death of a U.S. border agent.  Among the weapons discovered were two assault weapons bought in a gun shop which took part in the operation. Authorities have charged an unnamed Mexican national in the shootout.

The Wall Street Journal and other news agencies speculated that the agency acting head, Kenneth Melson, is expected to be ousted by the Justice Department by the end of June 2011.   On August 30, 2011 Melson was reassigned to a lesser post in the Justice Department according to a Fox News article written that day and administration officials made an announcement that  B. Todd Jones, a U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, would replace Melson.

YouTube Video of Interview with owner of Carter Country in Arizona

updated 6/20/11