ATF “Fast & Furious” program approved straw purchases of guns in Arizona

The DOJ’s Fast & Furious program used an investigative technique that approved illegal straw gun purchases while simply noting the serial numbers of the firearms in the hope investigators could identify complex gun trafficking networks once the guns were found at devastating crime scenes.

At least that’s how I read the program. I’m not involved with law enforcement, but I kind of figure that when a crime occurs, the good guys come in to arrest the bad guys especially when the good guys watch the crime occur. Of course, one option for law enforcement would be to “watch what happens next.” I guess if they have a decoy car set up to be stolen, they might want to follow the criminals to see if they bring it to a chop-shop or something, but this is a more dangerous tactic when your letting criminals walk away with a .50 cal rifle or two.

If this was an episode of NCIS, there would be a GPS tracking device on the rifle to track its journey, but this is not a TV show.

Over the weekend, I watched the testimony of a few ATF agents during the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s hearing on Wednesday, June 15 concerning the Fast & Furious program. When asked by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) about the thousands of guns that were allowed to “walk” Special Agent Dodson had the following to say. (Skip to 1 hour and 13 minutes to see the answer or click here.)

[Editor’s note: All three segments from June 15 are available on YouTube here, here and here.]


That’s devastating testimony, and not only were these guns allowed across the border it’s guaranteed that many of these weapons purchased illegally are still in the United States and will be used by criminals here. We’ll find out about those weapons after they have been used in – most probably – multiple crimes. It may take a long time – if ever – for those guns to show up.

All of this facilitated by the federal government and not by corrupt gun dealers or organized crime outfits.

During the third segment of the hearing on June 15, Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich did his best to hide behind the “it’s an ongoing investigation” explanation concerning the lack of transparency from the Obama administration’s Department of Justice. To a certain extent, that’s understandable, but the goal here is much more simple than the inner workings of the investigation and future prosecutions. Nobody in DOJ is willing to answer the following questions which would have absolutely no effect on future prosecutions.

  1. Who thought this was a good idea?
  2. How many people in the Executive Branch were aware of the program in the Phoenix office, and when – if ever – did they pull the plug on the operation?
  3. What did they think would happen to the guns after the straw purchaser dropped them off at a safe house or transferred them to someone else – especially considering they stopped surveillance at that point.

When questioned by Chaffetz during the third segment, Weich really took it on the chin. It’s so damn obvious part of the problem is our federal bureaucracy is so damn bloated nobody seems to know what’s going on, and it’s also pretty clear the Obama administration is unable to blame this problem on a rogue field office that was acting without approval from high up in the Obama administration. (Skip to about 29 minutes, 30 seconds for the relevant exchange or click here.)


This is a huge story, but not getting the coverage it deserves. Yet, I can’t find one statement from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg concerning this federal mess that allowed upwards of 2,000 illegal firearm purchases to happen.

As of yesterday, it looks like the head of the ATF will take the fall for this program. Check out other recent posts at other sites about this subject.

Hot Air, Pajamas Media, Michael Walsh at The Corner, BlackFive, and CBS News.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. TomL on June 20, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    So far they’ve linked a murder of a border patrol agent to operation gunwalker. This is not going to go well for the administration when its done.

  2. TomL on June 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Here’s a little something from Uncle Jimbo @Blackfive

  3. Plainvillian on June 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Just a skirmish in our highly successful War on Drugs started by LBJ.
    Special Agent Dodson has been reassigned to year round beach patrol in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska as a reward for his testimony.

  4. Law-AbidingCitizen on June 20, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    The BATFE is a rouge agency. It is used by this regime to further its anti-Second Amendment goals.
    Just a look at its history will let ANYONE know that this agency has never been called to account for its actions against the American people. It is truly a Gestapo-minded bureaucracy that has NO respect for its mandate nor for the law.
    Not satisfied? Remember the siege and subsequent slaughter of men, women and children in Waco, Texas. Randy Weaver comes to mind; the BATF, as it was known at the time, murdered his wife (while holding her infant child) and his son. The courts later directed the government to cut him a fat check for violating his civil rights, i.e., entrapment, etc.
    On a daily basis, the BATFE harasses honest business owners who just happen to sell firearms for a living. Know that there is a huge segment of the population who not only buy firearms, but many other related products. The firearms industry employs many thousands of individuals and contributes hundreds of millions, perhaps more, to the U.S. economy directly and to the recreational industry both directly and indirectly.
    The BATFE is one of the alphabet agencies who struggle for funding on an annual basis. It is no wonder…

  5. Dimsdale on June 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    “Fast and Furious” turned out to be “Dumb and Dumber” from a number of perspectives.
    Judging by the response by the Att. General’s office, they have some complicity.? Or just don’t give a hoot, Holder being Holder…

  6. Steve M on June 20, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    @Law-AbidingCitizen. Actually, I personally know two or three folks who own a business as a dealer or gunsmith. Their dealings with the line staff at ATF that they work with has been generally a positive experience. In this case, it looks like the issue is with upper-management and the DOJ.


  7. TomL on June 21, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Here’s a report prepared for Rep. Issa and Sen. Grassley

    Remember the administration is working with the UN to get rid of our 2nd Amendment?Rights?

  8. Murphy on June 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Didn’t BHO say he was going to raise a billion dollars for his reelection campaign?

  9. Lynn on June 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I have been disgusted with Holder since his appointment. The man should be in charge of Health and Human Services. He is incompetent and knows nothing of Justice. I hold him accountable and who the h.ll, put that idiot Welch in charge of anything. I am furious and this is just one more reason to put Obama back in ACORN where he belongs.? As for Rep. Chaffetz, why isn’t anyone asking him to run for President or VP? He is on Cavuto all the time and he has some fire and a backbone. He never disappoints me.

  10. Lynn on June 22, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    OK sorry Obama wasn’t ever in ACORN, but he was a community organizer and that is all he understands. The dope with no hope.


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