The Gunwalker scandal biz broke around the time that the ATF claimed—in front of Congress—that 90 percent of the Mexican drug cartels’ weapons came from Badger Guns (or similar). Debunkers debunked the stat. That was 90 percent of the gun the Mexicans submitted to the ATF for trace. Not all the guns confiscated. Especially not the U.S.-sourced guns stamped “Property of the Mexican Military.” Oh, and the ATF counted hundreds of traced guns twice. Or more. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that whole “Mexican gun crime is American gun dealers’ fault” thing would be dead and buried. Think again . . .

The U.S. was the source of at least 70% of 29,284 firearms recovered by authorities in Mexico in 2009 and 2010, according to new U.S. government figures.

At the risk of screwing up TTAG’s Google search positioning, holy shit! THAT’S the lead in the WALL STREET JOURNAL? Yes. And the august journal’s been spoon-fed the disinformation by . . . you guessed it . . . the ATF.

The statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are expected to add to controversy over the U.S. role in fueling drug-cartel violence in Mexico, which has killed more than 40,000 people since 2006.

Add controversy? Are you shitting me? The statement makes it sound as if the stat is valid, when a previous, similar pronouncement was clearly, irrefutably and completely dismembered by the “gun rights community.” To the point where the ATF disavowed it. And yet, here it is again, in glorious black and white and red and gray.

Does WSJ writer Evan Perez have access to something called “Google”? It gets worse . . .

U.S. gun-rights groups long have disputed assertions by the U.S. and Mexican governments that trafficking from the U.S. is a major source of weapons in the cartel wars. They have contended the majority of Mexican guns come from Russia, China and elsewhere.

WTF? Perez is spinning off into space here, completely missing the well-established fact that the Mexican drug lords are using U.S. military grade weaponry: fully-automatic rifles, grenades and grenade launchers sold to our “friends” south of the border. Who said that the cartels relied largely on Russian or Chinese-sourced weapons?

Crap. It’s the NRA.

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said he doubted the ATF figures. He said given the ample resources of drug cartels, traffickers easily import weapons from Russia, China, and Central America, rather than risk trying to smuggle firearms from the U.S. “I think all these numbers are phonied up for politics,” Mr. LaPierre said in an interview. “The law enforcement people I talk to tell me this doesn’t make sense.”

Anyway, is the Wall Street Journal so stupid that it can’t see that the ATF released this fresh batch of misleading gun stats to defend itself against next week’s Congressional investigation into the failed Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast Furious programs? Nope. They’re not that stupid. Only close.

The findings come as the ATF defends itself against congressional critics for its Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation, which lawmakers say inadvertently eased trafficking of weapons to cartel gangs.

And wait! There it is! The qualifier that puts the stats into their proper perspective as largely irrelevant. Buried in paragraph 11.

The ATF said it traced the guns based on information provided by Mexican authorities. The Mexican government doesn’t submit every firearm it recovers for tracing.

Mexico has strict restrictions on gun ownership, with most legitimate sales processed through one store on a military base near Mexico City.

ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson provided the data to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), who requested the information. It represents the first such analysis to be made public by the agency. The law limits how ATF can share the data it obtains from tracing guns used in crimes.

Sen. Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, said in a May letter to Mr. Melson that “military-style weapons are arming Mexico’s brutal drug trafficking organizations at an alarming rate. Releasing data on firearms recovered in Mexico that originate in the United States will ensure that the American public and policymakers are aware of the severity of this problem.”

Is it a coincidence that ATF-supplied WSJ photo show Los Zetas and their little friends, the cartel that the Mexicans don’t support?

I just threw up in my mouth a little. Rest assured, the ATF agit-prop campaign won’t deter the Congressional investigation. And in the Internet age lies, damned lies and repeated lies get the fate they deserve.

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6 Responses to ATF Death Watch 9: “The U.S. was the source of at least 706 of 29,284 firearms recovered by authorities in Mexico in 2009 and 2010, according to new U.S. government figures”

  1. Please note the heading of the chart: “Origin of firearms recovered by U.S. authorities in Mexico in 2009-2010”.

    Fact: No guns are “recovered” by U.S. authorities. The Mexicans don’t allow U.S. authorities to “recover” guns. Mexican authorities only submit gun serial numbers for tracing.

    False Statistics: ATF manipulates the statistics for their own purposes. ATF includes the following in their statistics:
    1. American origin guns legitimately sold to the Mexican military.
    2. American origin guns legitimately and commercially exported to the Mexican gun shop in Mexico City.
    3. American origin guns legitimately sold to Mexican police – at the Federal, state or local level.
    4. American origin guns legitimately sold to Mexican banks, private security firms, or other companies.
    5. American origin guns legitimately sold to other Mexican government entities.
    6. American origin guns legitimately sold to police, military, security companies or private parties in other countries, which were smuggled into Mexico from those countries.

    • I’m more interested in what looks to be a pair of MG-34s. I wish I could find one of those in my local gun shop.

  2. The major lie in the article is that it does not mention the total number of guns siezed during that period by the Mexican government:

    “The article states 29,284 were SUBMITTED FOR TRACING. According to Mexico’s SEcretaria de DEfensa NAcional, a total of 129,200 guns were seized during those years. If you read Spanish, the article in El Universal is here:

    http://www.eluniv­ersal.com.­mx/nacion/­185628.htm­l”

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