Oversight Democrats Request Minority Day of Hearings on Illegal Gun Trafficking to Mexico

Jun 15, 2011
Press Release

Washington, DC - Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings and Democratic Members requested a “minority day of hearings” to hear testimony relating to the flow of illegal guns to Mexico in connection to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) “Operation Fast and Furious” program.

“The allegations that have been made are very troubling,” Cummings said at today’s hearing. “No legitimate examination of this issue will be complete without analyzing our nation’s gun laws.”

ATF Supervisory Special Agent Peter Forcelli, testifying at today’s hearing, pointed to the “toothless nature of the straw purchasing laws and the lack of a firearms trafficking statute” as at least one factor that have lead to guns turning up on both sides of the border.

According to news reports, more than 60,000 firearms used in Mexican crimes in the last four years have been traced back to the United States. Chairman Issa's report on the "Operation Fast and Furious" program found that roughly 90% of the guns seized in Mexico originated north of the border. On Monday, Senators Feinstein, Schumer and Whitehouse released a report that attributed the problem of gun trafficking largely to the lack of strong gun laws rather than the missteps of law enforcement.

The letter can be found here.

112th Congress