Every Federal Firearms License holder and Second Amendment activist should read this book. Guns Across the Border, The Inside Story more than meets the expectations created by the title. It’s an intensely personal inside look at what happened in the “Wide Receiver” gunrunning investigation that was the predecessor to the Fast and Furious scandal. I met Mike Detty at the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. He struck me as a quick-witted individual with a good head on his shoulders, and he was at the core of the Wide Receiver ATF gunrunning investigation . . .

The book is an incredible, true adventure story about the author’s journey from bored, depressed, naive, patriot to seasoned and cynical confidential informant. Most of the larger gun deals were done out of Detty’s own home. There, he recorded the illicit gun buyers and conducted negotiations. He often took instructions from ATF agents on his cell phone in the middle of gun sales. Detty learned important lessons along the way, lessons that you can benefit from. The book is 264 pages long and I found it hard to put down.

Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned was that if you become involved in a government investigation, keep your own records. Document everything. Keep multiple copies and don’t trust that you will be taken care of. Detty took copious notes and meticulously documented everything and it shows. The book accomplishes the difficult task of relating real-life events in detail without becoming boring or repetitive.

You will not find superheroes, or super villains in Guns Across the Border. Instead, you’ll encounter people that you could find in your own life. I found many “There but for the grace of God go I” moments in the book. I found it easy to relate to Mike. Detty shows how simple it is for a situation to keep escalating, step by small step, until you’re where you never thought you’d be. If you ever think you might have an interaction with federal law enforcement…read this book.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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9 Responses to Book Review: Guns Across the Border by Mike Detty

  1. An interesting insight into the personalities and motives of the Arizona ATF and the gun runners themselves. Mike dealt with just as much deception and deceit from the ATF as he did from the runners.

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  3. The trouble with getting involved with the ATF is that you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    If you don’t help, the might of the bureaucracy will make things unpleasant for you.

    If you do, you will have the uneasy feeling they are setting you up to increase the score when it’s time for the bust, and to further improve the agent’s career. Remember what happened to the dealers who assisted in the fast-and-furious debacle at the ATF’s direction who were later charged with selling guns to smugglers.

  4. Perhaps the most important lesson to be learned was that if you become involved in a government investigation, keep your own records.

    I would say the most important lesson to be learned is to not get involved with government officials – period. If they want to coordinate gun transfers to border crosser’s, decline, and decline the sale (tell them to leave your shop) to those seeking the firearms. Don’t play games with the US Government, because they make the rules, you follow the rules, they change the rules, and then you get burned.

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