If this report from Examiner.com is accurate (and, given what we’ve learned about the Gunwalker scandal, I have no reason to disbelieve it), it wasn’t just the Phoenix ATF that was trafficking guns to Mexican drug cartels. The Tampa ATF was walking guns to Honduras, from whence they were then sent on to Mexican drug cartels.
The isn’t just another outrage in the burgeoning scandal. This shows that the Gunwalker strategy was not merely one ATF office gone horribly wrong, it was a national strategy. The Examiner.com report also adds that the Tampa ATF decided to conceal their actions from the Congressional investigation:
There are emails in existence where [Tampa ATF director Virginia] O’Brien has advised those involved that Tampa does not have to report their walked guns because Tampa FD is not a part of Southwest Border or Project Gunrunner.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has granted the ATF the top item on its wish list:
The Obama administration on Monday granted new powers to federal regulators fighting gun traffickers on the violence-plagued Mexican border. Issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the new rules require border-state gun dealers to report bulk purchases of assault weapons made by individual buyers over short spans of time — a tool requested in December by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
This is astonishing. In this ongoing scandal, in which the ATF has shown its inability to carry out its duties legally or responsibly, the ATF is not being served with the indictments it deserves, but is instead being granted new powers! One might even get the idea that the DOJ doesn’t take this scandal seriously. . .
For now the ATF’s new powers are good only in the Mexican border states, but you know it’s only a matter of time until they take them nationwide.
POSTSCRIPT: By the way, is this even legal? Can the DOJ and ATF really impose new burdens on gun merchants without an act of Congress?