BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today said it supports the latest move by Congressman Darrell Issa to â€œget to the bottom of the â€˜Project Gunrunnerâ€™ scandal.â€
This morning, Congressman Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a subpoena to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for documents relating to the Gunrunner probe. Earlier, Rep. Issa had requested the documents in a letter to ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson, but Melson ignored Wednesdayâ€™s deadline to provide the information.
CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb said the subpoena â€œunderscores the seriousness of this investigation.â€ Earlier, he had called for an investigation of the Gunrunner operation and for funding cuts if ATF did not cooperate.
â€œI donâ€™t know what Mr. Melson was thinking when he blew off Issaâ€™s request earlier this week,â€ Gottlieb said. â€œIf he believed that this probe is simply going to disappear if he just ignores it, todayâ€™s subpoena clearly demonstrates that isnâ€™t going to happen.â€
Gottlieb recalled how the Obama administration spent weeks in 2009 trying to blame Mexican drug cartel violence on gun dealers and gun shows in the Southwest states. Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others asserted at the time that weak gun laws were responsible for allowing a flood of firearms to flow south into the hands of cartel gunmen. But it now appears that Project Gunrunner, and its â€œOperation Fast-and-Furiousâ€ in Phoenix allowed hundreds, perhaps thousands of guns to be taken to Mexico. Two of those guns were recovered at the murder scene of Customs and Border Control Agent Brian Terry in December, igniting the current investigation.
â€œGun shops and our gun rights were blamed for the violence in Mexico,â€ Gottlieb observed, â€œbut recent revelations about Project Gunrunner clearly indicate the real culprits are officials in the ATF and Justice Department who knew about this and were warned about potential problems by their own field agents, but let it happen, anyway. And then they concealed it from the Mexican government.
â€œWe hope Congressman Issa can get to the bottom of this and that people will be held accountable,â€ he said.