BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today said Kenneth E. Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, should resign or be fired for continued stonewalling on â€œProject Gunrunner,â€ the controversial operation that allegedly allowed thousands of guns to be funneled across the border into Mexico.
Congressman Darrell Issa today threatened Melson with contempt for failing to produce documents that Issaâ€™s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subpoenaed on March 31. Melson had until April 13 to provide the documents, and the deadline passed without any response.
â€œMelsonâ€™s continued stonewalling on the Project Gunrunner investigation is intolerable,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œIt appears obvious that he has no intention of cooperating with Congress on this serious matter. He should resign or be fired, and he should be replaced by a professional who will work quickly to clean up the ATF, and that starts with providing all Project Gunrunner documents to Congress.â€
Rep. Issa sent a letter to Melson earlier today, chastising him for not complying with the subpoena. In that letter, Issa also complained that Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weichâ€™s responses on behalf of the ATF have been â€œlargely unhelpful.â€
â€œIt appears that Mr. Weich is running interference for Melson and the ATF officials who controlled Gunrunner and its adjunct, Operation Fast-and-Furious,â€ Gottlieb said. â€œThe only conclusion one can draw from this is that Attorney General Eric Holderâ€™s Justice Department is fully engaged in this smoke and mirrors sham.
â€œObama administration officials evidently believe this scandal will just go away if they ignore it,â€ he continued. â€œCongressman Issaâ€™s committee has every right to demand documents and the authority to review them. Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration in history, and this coverup proves his rhetoric was as empty as the suit he is wearing.
â€œIf Melson, and for that matter, Weich, cannot deliver today,â€ Gottlieb concluded, â€œthey should both clean out their desks tomorrow.â€