Skip to comments.ATF Publishes Misleading Trace Data From Mexico
Posted on 04/27/2012 4:12:58 AM PDT by Kaslin
Yesterday afternoon, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms released firearms tracing data to the press from Mexico between the years 2007-2011 during a roundtable discussion and presentation given by ATF Special Agent John Hageman. The data was released at ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. Reporters were allowed to bring pen and paper, but were prohibited from bringing computers or recording devices. When we arrived, despite prohibiting the use of computers, ATF gave us a flashdrive.
That’s the percentage of guns traced in Mexico to United States sources or Federal Firearms Licensees [gun dealers] according to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
In September 2009, the Mexican government provided ATF with “electronic files containing firearms identifiers and recovery data. The electronic files contained information that initiated over 43,000 firearms traces, excluding duplicates, with most having recovery years ranging from CY 2007 to 2009,” according to information given to the press.
The majority of the sales linked back to the U.S. according to this trace data, actually come from government to government sales, not from normal sales made in American gun shops. Despite this fact, anti-gun groups and members of Congress use this misleading data to push for more gun control and regulations on retail stores.
California Senator Diane Feinstein used similar data during a hearing about Operation Fast and Furious last fall to call for more gun regulation, as did embattled Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
“ATF isn’t making a determination on how people view our data,” ATF Special Agent John Hageman said.
Or are they? ATF uses these numbers to justify its new long gun reporting measures. The new measures were implemented last summer and require border state gun dealers to report multiple sales of semi-automatic rifles.
Hageman said since the new reporting measures were put into place last fall, ATF has opened up 100 new investigations and has named 30 defendants as a result. Sounds great right? Wrong. “100” is simply the number of opened investigations on 70 percent of people ATF wanted to look into for buying more than one semi-automatic rifle at a time. The 30 statistic is the number of actual possible criminals/named defendants.
I asked if guns trafficked into Mexico during the Obama Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious program were being counted in this data. Although Hageman wouldn’t openly admit Fast and Furious guns were being lumped in with this data, he responded by saying that any gun submitted for tracing in Mexico and traced back to the U.S. is counted.
I also asked why guns were not checked through the National Crime Information Center database to see if they were reported stolen before being counted in this data. It was determined that stolen guns are indeed counted in this data.
“I don’t have an accurate accounting for that [stolen guns],” Hageman said.
In addition, I asked if ATF had any plans in the future to break down trace data into categories such as personal retail sales traces verses large sales traces from FFLs to foreign governments that are approved by the State Department. The answer was no.
Republican Senator Charles Grassley has questioned the validity of ATF firearms trace data in the past and issued a statement regarding trace data released by ATF yesterday.
“Thorough gun statistics are hard to come by and tricky to interpret. The key to this data is that most of these guns can’t be traced to U.S. gun dealers. And, some of those would actually trace back to the United States because of the federal government’s own gunwalking scandal. We also have to remember that the only guns Mexico is going to submit for tracing are guns they know are from the United States, which clearly paints an incomplete picture of the firearms found in the Mexico,” Grassley said.
In the end, ATF counts stolen guns in this data, guns sold to foreign governments by FFLs under the approval of the State Department in this data and counts guns ATF and DOJ purposely sent into Mexico as “guns being traced back to the U.S.”
atf...back in the saddle again...ping.
They just won’t give up, facts don’t count.
Dear Congress, You have the absolute right and the ability to ABOLISH THE ATF. Considering their blatant dishonesty and probable criminal acts against the Citizenry, Why Don’t you??
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation
The GOP is on their way to becoming the Whigs of the 21st century. They've got to get serious and effective or they will be replaced.
Why did they release the data to the Mexican press?
(If only they could write...)
“The GOP is on their way to becoming the Whigs of the 21st century. They’ve got to get serious and effective or they will be replaced.”
Sure. WE keep saying it but nothing changes. It only gets worse. Look at all the high hopes we had in 2010. And look at the betrayals. Look who our ‘nominee’ is and look who is flitting around by his side campaigning with him...not to mention all the TEA Party candidates that were paid off.
Haley, o’donnell, Chafetz, Rubio,...et al.
Some of those who refused to go along were redistricted out...by states controlled by Republicans.
We need a LOT more than words. A LOT more.
The GOP should be pressured to cut off ALL funding to ATF - NOW!!!!
Let it wither on the vine like the corrupt, unnecessary political propaganda organ it is.
Do you Realize that we only have the House?
All revenue bills originate in the House.
Just this morning a leading GOP representative threatened to hold Holder in contempt and cut off all funding to his Department if he didn’t answer to COngress.
I think I will have to order her book from Amazon even though it’s not available with Prime
I would like to get it too if for no other reason than to support her for her courage and willingness to do some real journalism.
I've a feeling that with some updating it will apply just as well the next time around.
Frightening and disgusting, isn’t it?