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CCRKBA URGES INQUIRY INTO ATF’S ‘PROJECT GUNRUNNER’

Friday, February 11th, 2011

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is urging its members to contact the Senate and demand a full and open inquiry into a controversial gun trafficking sting operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that may be linked to the December slaying of a federal peace officer.

After Customs and Border Protection Agent Brian Terry was killed in a shootout two months ago, two of the guns recovered at the crime scene were traced to a sale that was part of the ATF’s “Project Gunrunner” investigation. U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has asked the ATF about this case, and has been met by bureau stonewalling. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder this week, Sen. Grassley said it is time to “come clean” about this operation.

“For two years,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “we’ve been hearing from Holder and others in the Obama administration about a so-called ‘iron pipeline’ of American guns across the border. Only after the recent arrests in Arizona did we learn, through court documents, that hundreds of guns were allowed to be purchased by alleged straw buyers, while ATF conducted its investigation. Now, according to various news reports, two of those guns showed up at a crime scene where a federal officer lost his life. What is going on here?

“CCRKBA applauds Sen. Grassley’s persistence in trying to get at the truth,” he continued. “We are asking our members to call their Senators and encourage them to support Grassley’s inquiry effort, and press for a full Senate investigation.

“We also want to know if ATF officials tried to retaliate against agency whistleblowers who have cooperated with Grassley’s office,” Gottlieb added, “and we are delighted that the senator is pushing forward.”

“Wouldn’t it be ironic,” he observed, “to learn that while the Obama administration was blaming our gun rights for the drug war violence in Mexico, its own gun sting operation was a major source of illicit firearms?”

Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.