Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:51 PM
Bill USA (3,375 posts)
Republicans obsess over "Fast & Furious" have adamantly opposed assault weapons ban
(emphases my own)
Hypocrisy, Locked and Loaded
If Congressional Republicans are really intent on getting to the bottom of an ill-conceived sting operation along the border by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, they should call President Felipe Calderón of Mexico as an expert witness.
Mr. Calderón has the data showing that the tens of thousands of weapons seized from the Mexican drug cartels in the last four years mostly came from the United States. Three out of five of those guns were battlefield weapons that were outlawed here until the assault weapons ban was allowed to lapse in 2004. To help him stop the bloody mayhem, he is pleading with Washington to re-enact the ban and impose other needed controls.
That is the last thing Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican, wants to hear. He and Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, issued a report last week castigating the A.T.F. for an operation in which federal agents, hoping to track guns to Mexican cartels, monitored but did not stop gun sales to people suspected of obtaining weapons for those criminal groups. Two of the American-sold guns showed up at the scene of a fatal shooting of an American border patrol agent in Arizona last year.
Congress needs to be candid about how loophole-ridden laws have created a huge market for assault weapons, which end up in Mexico. At a hearing, Mr. Issa insisted, “We’re not here to talk about proposed gun legislation.” Federal officials in February sought authority to require gun dealers to report bulk sales of assault rifles only to have it blocked by a provision in the Republican budget. A responsible Congress would re-enact the assault weapons ban, outlaw uncontrolled gun-show sales and reform regulations that allow corrupt dealers to stay in business.
Report: Many weapons used by Mexican drug gangs originate in U.S.
(emphases my own)
A trio of Democratic U.S. senators called for tougher firearms laws and regulations after releasing a report that showed a large number of weapons used by Mexico drug gangs originate north of the border.
More than 70% of 29,284 firearms submitted to the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing by the Mexican government during 2009 and 2010 originated in the United States, according to the report.
The report, released Monday, is the latest element in a debate over how large a role the United States plays in arming the ruthless Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for more than 34,000 killings since 2006.
The senators are calling for reinstatement of an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and better enforcement of a ban on the import of military-style weapons.
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