In a letter sent to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich is backtracking on the number of firearms from Project Gunwalker that have been found at U.S. violent crime scenes. Previously, the Justice Department said these walked firearms had been found at the scene of 11 violent crimes in the United States. Now according to this letter, Weich is saying they combined the number of U.S. and Mexican guns traced into the number reported to Congress by mistake.
Weich is now saying that except for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry that “ATF is aware of only one instance where a firearm associated with Operation Fast and Furious was traced and coded as recovered in connection with a crime of violence in the United States.”
Why does one get the feeling that anytime Assistant AG Ron Weich opens his mouth that he will seek to confuse, obfuscate, or otherwise parse what he has said in the past?
Lori Jean Gliha, a local reporter for ABC15 in Phoenix, has been following the firearms that were walked to crimes in Arizona for months now.
We uncovered official documents showing nearly 50 guns connected to the Fast and Furious case were also recovered at the scenes of non-violent Glendale and Phoenix crimes.
All of the non-violent cases involve drug-related offenses.
Notwithstanding Weich’s retraction, 2 Federal law enforcement officers and an estimated 15-200 Mexicans have been killed with firearms traced to Operation Fast and Furious. Gliha reports that Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had this response to the retraction.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who has been a leader in the Congressional investigation into the controversial Fast and Furious case said he was not surprised by the new information.
“The Justice Department has been less than forthcoming since day one, so the revisions here are hardly surprising, and the numbers will likely rise until the more than 1000 guns that were allowed to fall into the hands of bad guys are recovered-most likely years down the road.”
Unfortunately, Sen. Grassley is correct. These walked guns will keep showing up for years to come.