CBS’ Sharyl Attkisson has provided another update to the ATF’s growing “gunwalker” scandal. Senator Chuck Grassley has obtained emails from 2010 between the ATF and a concerned FFL who became involved in the “Project Gunrunner” operation. This FFL flagged multiple purchase attempts by to shady individuals to the ATF. The ATF told him to let the sales go through, claiming that the agency was tracking the suspected gunrunners. Now these emails are particularly interesting to Sen. Grassley as the ATF assured him as recently as February of this year that no such thing was happening along the US-Mexico border…
According to Sen. Grassley, in a letter fired off to Attorney General Eric Holder last night, the ATF arranged a meeting between the gun shop owner and the U.S. Attorney’s office which is part of the Justice Department. At that meeting, Sen. Grassley says the U.S. Attorney’s office declined to provide written terms but assured the gun dealer there were safeguards in place to prevent further distribution of the weapons being purchased from his business.
“As we now know, those assurances provide to be untrue,” Grassley wrote.
Two months later, on June 17, 2010, the same gun shop owner again wrote ATF’s Supervisor Voth again after he saw a Fox News report about firearms and the border. The gun shop owner called the report “disturbing” and stated “When you [Voth], [the Assistant U.S. Attorney], and I met on May 13th , I shared my concerns with you guys that I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys… I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents’ safety because I have some very close friends that are U.S. Border Patrol Agents in southern AZ.”
The FFL had repeated contacts with the ATF and they repeatedly told him that they were stopping the guns before they could get into Mexico. However, and this really should have been a big tip-off to the FFL, the ATF was never willing to put that in writing. They were exposing him to legal action and simply would not write him the get-out-of-jail-free card he’d need in the event of a lawsuit. But then again, why would the ATF balk at lying to an FFL when they’re so willing to mislead a US Senator?