I wrote a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in April of 2009. My purpose was to find out if BATFE knew if any of the firearms seized from Mexican drug thugs had originated from government sources in the United States. I describe it here, but this is the central point:
Have any of these weapons been traced to aid provided to Mexico by the United States through official channels? That is, which, if any, of these firearms were legally imported by Mexico from United States law enforcement or military sources, or any other government departments or programs?
I assume that transfers from any programs officially sanctioned by the United States will have been precisely documented.
The word “legally” appears to have been overprecise, but more on that later. By June I received a non-response from BATFE, so I wrote again.
What are the various sources in the United States of those firearms submitted by Mexican authorities to the BATFE for tracing? That is, of the submitted firearms you have, or have had, in your possession – where in the US did they come from?
That letter received no response, and I contemplated a FOIA request. But that isn’t easy, and BATFE was highly likely to make it expensive. I never did it.
Then, 2 weeks ago, I find out BATFE didn’t want to talk about this question because BATFE is very likely a source of weapons purchased by Mexican drug gangsters. Whether BATFE sponsored illegal purchases represent a “legally” transferred weapon in the hands of a drug gang I leave to the courts. That seems to be precisely the question in the video here.
Now, some of those weapons have been detected in use. There is strong evidence that BATFE arranged the sale of hundreds of guns to Mexican drug gangs, and that some of those guns were used to kill a Border Patrol officer.
Since BATFE is being asked to explain this contretemps by a United States Senator, I doubt a FOIA will be necessary.
Nonetheless, I would like to know how many of the guns being counted as “origin United States” over the last several years were part of “origin US government.” The President of the United States, the Secretary of State of the United States, the President of Mexico and Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States, to name only the highest rank officials, have been telling us we need to suspend the 2nd Amendment to save the corrupt state of Mexico from American purchased firearms. They tell us strict gun control is the only answer.
On the evidence, and judging by the responsiveness, BATFE Control is a more obvious way to address this problem. That, and maybe extending 2nd Amendment rights to ordinary Mexicans.