ATF Gunwalker Scandal Explained

If you want to know why in Sam Hill the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (and Really Big Fires) would tell American gun dealers to go ahead and sell weapons to Mexico-bound gun smugglers, you have to understand the ATF’s modus operandi. Unlike other law enforcement agencies who react to crime and investigate, the ATF goes out and creates crime and then arrests a bunch of people. No really. Since its elevation to federal agency status (a HUGE mistake), the ATF has had more stings than a naked apiculturist. So when gun dealers dropped the dime on straw purchasers buying guns headed for narco killers, the ATF treated it like a sting operation already in progress . . .

Their sting operation. Notice the smorgasbord of law enforcement agencies above. Most times the ATF has to work with everyone but your uncle Louie to make a collar. And share the glory. But Project Gun Runner and Operation Fast and Furious belonged to the ATF. Again: it was their gig.

There was NO WAY the ATF was going to share intel. Not with U.S. Border Customs and Border Patrol (who lost an agent to ATF-enabled smuggled guns). Not with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (who lost an agent to ATF-enabled smuggled guns). And not with the Mexican government (who are still busy losing hundreds of lives to ATF-enabled smuggled guns).

The nub of the matter is easy enough to grasp: the ATF will do anything to catch criminals. Including create them. It’s a profoundly unconstitutional SOP by an Agency that’s happy to ensnare otherwise legal American gun owners in a paperwork trap, BTW. But let’s stick with today’s nearasdammit perfect example of the ATF run amok.

Undercover storefront sting nets over 100 the Department of Justice’s press release proclaims.

A multi-agency law enforcement task force led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Phoenix Police Department, with assistance from the U.S. Marshall’s Service, began arresting suspects in the case early last week. Over its duration, the Operation resulted in the seizure of 223 weapons – including handguns, assault rifles, rifles and sawed-off shotguns, many of them stolen.

Agents and officers also seized narcotics, including methamphetamine, “crack” and powder cocaine, prescription medications, marijuana and heroin. ATF agents and a detective from Phoenix PD culminated the nine-month investigation in January.

The agents operated a secondhand merchandise store dealing in military supplies and used electronics, where they purchased guns and narcotics from individuals who came into the store. As with previous successful ATF investigations in other states, the store was equipped with electronic surveillance equipment to capture all of the transactions.

Think about this. A store opens up in a bad part of Phoenix for the express purpose of purchasing stolen weapons (for the ATF) and drugs (for the other agencies). The store lets it be known that they’re open for [criminal] business and spreads a ton of cash around. No one gets arrested. And so their “success” snowballs over nine months. The bad guys know there’s a thriving market for stolen guns. So what do they do? Steal guns.

Now look at this from an Arizona gun owner’s point of view. You’re sitting in your house with a nice collection of guns. Suddenly, bad shit goes down. A group of very bad people (with a nice new income stream to keep them ungainfully employed) have decided that they want your guns. And by God they’re going to take them. Why? So they can sell them to the federal government.

News flash: sting operations don’t stop crime. The foster it. Although not enough judges are willing to lay down the law in cases where obvious bad guys appear before them thanks to “here run this down the street for me right quick” law enforcement, sting operations are illegal. They lure people into committing crimes.

The “set ‘em up and knock ‘em down” ethos (a.k.a. entrapment) is so deeply embedded with the ATF that they feel free to admit it.

ATF Special Agent in Charge, William Newell added, “This joint operation with the Phoenix Police Department is clear evidence of ATF’s continued commitment to proactively address the threat of firearms related crime in communities across the country with our State and Local law enforcement partners. We also truly appreciate the support from the U.S. Attorney and Arizona Attorney General in prosecuting these cases.”

Proactive. Not reactive. Or preventative. Proactive. And there’s the reason for Operation Fast and Furious.

While I look forward to seeing members of the Obama administration laid low for participating in the resulting coverup, my fondest desire is that Congress pulls the plug on the ATF is disbanded. That’s the only “proactive” way to stop this murderous confederacy of dunces from wreaking havoc on the American people. And, not so by the way, Mexicans.