Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BATFE Bill: $37.5 Million On Gun Trafficking Putsch

Obama signs Executive Order banning re-importation of 1 million M1 Garand rifles

“THE NEWS,” Mexico City
PHOENIX – Deputy Director Kenneth E. Melson of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced the formation of seven new Project Gunrunner anti-firearms trafficking groups during a news conference on Friday in which he and Dennis K. Burke, United States District Attorney of Arizona, announced the results of the ATF’s Gun Runner Impact Team (GRIT) initiative, a nearly 100-day deployment of bureau resources in the Phoenix area to disrupt illegal firearms trafficking by Mexican drug dealing organizations.

The GRIT initiative sent more than 80 ATF employees to Arizona and New Mexico to launch 174 arms-trafficking investigations, according to an ATF statement.

As a result of the 2010 emergency supplemental appropriation for border security, the ATF received $37.5 million for Project Gunrunner. With this funding, the ATF will establish and place firearms tracking groups along traditional and newly-discovered firearms trafficking routes and hubs in Atlanta, Dallas, Brownsville, Texas, Las Vegas, Miami, Oklahoma City, and Sierra Vista, Ariz.

“Lives are being lost to violent crime every day on both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border,” said Melson. “Through Project Gunrunner and its GRIT initiative, the ATF is shutting down the supply routes of firearms traffickers.”

“We are fighting on a crucial front here today to reduce violence in our own communities, and to disrupt and dismantle the southbound supply of weapons to the cartels,” said Burke.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has signed an executive order banning the re-importation of nearly one million M1 Garand and M1 Carbine rifles back into the U.S. The rifles have been on loan to the government of S. Korea since the end of the Korean War.

State Department officials cited an acute need to limit the amount of firearms falling into the hands of private citizens due to gunrunning by smugglers trafficking in arms to Mexican drug cartels.

The M1 rifles have been slated for destruction by melting them down. Traditionally, the weapons have been redistributed by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship as part of an NRA program designed to sharpen the firearms skills of American citizens.

This was the scene outside Austin Police Department headquarters earlier this year when the BATF and the police shut down a gun show because individuals were selling firearms to other individuals. The controversy arose when the law enforcement types said they should be Federal Firearms Licensees, though there is no law against one individual selling a firearm to another unless it can be proven the gun is stolen or one or both of the individuals involved in the transaction is not allowed to sell, buy or possess a firearm.

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