It may seem like ancient history to some, but it really wasn’t all that long ago when the ATF facilitated a number of straw purchases that were destined to end up in cartel hands. Gun dealers didn’t want to make the sales, but the feds told them to do it.
Then we had the guns showing up in cartel hands and anti-gun politicians saying we needed gun control here in order to help Mexico.
Yeah, I’ve never really bought the idea that Operation Fast & Furious was about anything but enabling anti-gunners.
What’s more, as Second Amendment reporter Lee Williams writes, the feds are essentially at it again.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona is not prosecuting straw-purchase arrests with speed and vigor, which can allow weapons purchased illegally in the United States to “walk” across the border into Mexico, according to a retired ATF deputy assistant director who blew the whistle the first time this happened, in what became known as ATF’s “Operation Fast & Furious” scandal.
Peter J. Forcelli said the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, which is overseen by U.S. Attorney Gary M. Restaino, suffers from a “culture of laziness and ineptness and a fear of getting beaten in court.”
Forcelli served at the Phoenix ATF Office from 2007 to 2011 before working his way up to a series of senior positions. He said Restaino’s office has long had a reputation for being “among the worst U.S. Attorney’s offices to deal with in the country.” Today, he said, little has changed.
“The U.S. Attorney is turning a blind eye to straw purchases, which is fueling what’s going on in Mexico,” Forcelli said. “The prosecutors who work there haven’t changed their ways. They have a habit of kicking the can down the road and not taking straw purchase cases. These are not purchasers who are buying guns for target shooters. These are guys who are sending guns to Mexico to slaughter human beings.”
Now, let’s remember that Mexico is suing American gun manufacturers, blaming them for the fiasco that has engulfed the nation for years.
Yet we can see here that at least part of the problem is that the feds don’t seem to be interested in prosecuting straw buyers, which is how the cartels are getting at least some of the guns from the US. We learned that when the news about Fast & Furious broke and it’s clearly still happening.
And straw buyers aren’t lawful buyers.
This is the epitome of the whole “enforce the laws we already have” thing, which some might disagree with, but it’s a pretty rare case where someone is buying a gun for their brother who just happens to work the same hours the gun store is open.
No, these are generally going to bad people.
The law, whether anyone likes it or not, prohibits straw buys. That means the feds–in this case, federal prosecutors versus federal law enforcement–need to actually do their jobs.
Would it make Mexico a better place? Doubtful. Mexico is damn near a failed state and it wasn’t because of American guns. The cartels have money and power, which means they’d get guns no matter what.
What it would do, though, is eliminate the claim that American gun makers are somehow fueling the crisis there. Of course, that’s likely to be a problem for the feds since it seems everything from the federal government is dedicated to stacking the deck for gun control these days.