The government’s “gun walking” scandal heated up a Capitol Hill hearing this week.
Holder, as he has already done numerous times in testimony before Congress, coninued his practice of stonewalling and deflecting blame for the failed scheme that led to thousands of firearms “walking” across the border into Mexico and into the hands of violent drug cartels.
Committee members grilled Holder on misleading Congress, not dealing appropriately with the individuals who called the shots on Fast and Furious and, even worse, for using the guns that the government allowed to “walk” to Mexico as an excuse for greater gun control in the U.S.
Fast and Furious Leading to More Gun Control
From his opening statement, Rep. Daryl Issa (R-CA), a chief congressional investigator looking into Fast and Furious, made clear that gun control, not crime control, is really the main objective of the Obama administration.
Rep. Issa pointed to recent ATF regulations to register many long-gun purchasers in southwest border states:
The idea that regulations, without any approval of Congress, to create databases in the southwestern states…clearly shows that, in fact, this administration is more interested in building databases, more interested in talking about gun control than actually controlling [the Fast and Furious guns].
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a strong ally of gun owners, further pressed the point, assuring Holder that:
If the American people learned that the motivations for [Fast and Furious] was somehow to make a case to deprive them of their Second Amendment rights or to make a case to further the Department’s ability to further regulate gun rights within the United States, that would make them very angry.
Rep. Franks went on to read from an email between Mark Chait, ATF Field Operations Assistant Director, and Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious. Chait wrote:
Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same [licensed gun dealer] and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.
The demand letter Chait was referring to is a regulation (which is in violation of federal laws protecting gun owners’ privacy) requiring more than 8,500 firearms dealers in four states to report multiple sales of long guns to the ATF.
In other words, the Justice Department helped to create a huge mess, and is now seeking more authority to regulate firearms to clean it up. At the same time, the Department has taken no action to hold anyone accountable within the government.
No Accountability at ATF
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) questioned the Attorney General about holding specific people responsible for the government’s actions.
“Who is the person in the United States government that made the decision…to facilitate the guns going to Mexico,” Rep. Poe asked Holder, who claimed not to know.
After the hearing, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren brought up that question to committee member Steve King (R-IA).
“Whoever was so stupid to authorize this operation…is still sitting there with the Justice Department because no one will tell us who the one is with such flawed judgment,” Van Susteren said.
King replied that, “If Eric Holder will not identify that person or answer that question, you have to wonder if Eric Holder isn’t the person.”
Holder remains defiant, and has rebuffed calls to step down or to fire those involved.
GOA Petitions Congress to Get ATF off the Backs of Gun Owners
President Obama and his Attorney General are clearly going after American gun owners, and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal of more gun control.
Eric Holder should be fired immediately for his mishandling of Fast and Furious, and then further investigated for possible criminal wrongdoing.
But there needs to be more done, which is why GOA is urging Congress to take firearms out of the ATF’s jurisdiction.
The Fast and Furious scandal is not an isolated incident, but just the latest in a long string of abuses by the agency. As far back as 1982, a Senate committee noted that ATF “has trampled upon the second amendment by chilling the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms by law-abiding citizens.”
But even in light of its many documented abuses, the agency has continued to grow in its budget, personnel, and mission.
This rogue, unconstitutional agency is dedicated to infringing on Americans’ fundamental right to keep and bear arms. And left unchecked, they will regulate it right out of existence.
If you haven’t already signed the petition, please do it today. Citing a long string of agency abuses, it asks the Congress to exercise its constitutional authority to get the ATF out of the firearms business. The petition goes directly to your Representative and two Senators.
The ATF has abused the rights of gun owners for far too long. If enough Americans make their voices heard, we can do away with this unconstitutional agency.