Operation Fast and Furious - The ATF's plan to trace guns

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by KingYaba, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. KingYaba, Mar 4, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011

    KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #1
    Well I may have to change my tune a little bit. One of my arguments against stricter gun control, in light of Mexico's narco state problems, is the astronomically expensive way to obtain a machine in the U.S. The thing you have to understand is it costs $10,000 to buy an AK-47. Does it make sense for them to buy hundreds of those at that price when they could simply smuggle 'em from somewhere else or perhaps illegally modify clones? See, I always doubted the news reports that said an AK-47 was seized in some drug bust. Considering the news is so bad at identifying guns I have always taken such reports with a heaping truck load of salt.

    But maybe they were right and I'm wrong.

    This is unbelievable. Kudos to CBS for covering this. And if these are coming from gun shows, they're not AK-47s so my original hunch is correct. They're the semi-auto clones and others...

    We've heard for the past two years that it's America's gun laws that permit such things to happen. So is it really?

    I want to know who gave this the green light so I can demand a resignation. Did you catch that last bit? Two of our own guns let free by the ATF ended up being used against one of our own federal agents.

     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    Except for the murdered agent, I believe that this is called "job security". :nuts:
     
  3. codymac macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Even the ATF's NFA branch has a difficult time getting identification correct so it's no surprise the media does such a bad job of it.
     
  4. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #4
    My views on firearm laws aside, this operation was and is a terrible idea. This operation enabled the people who want to do others harm. Whether the guns make it back and enable prosecuting criminal activity may be a mute point if the guns are used to harm others before they can be relocated and confiscated.


    Background to understand the situation better if you are interested (I am a little rusty so I may be off a year here or their)
    As far as terminology, the AK-47 is a little more complicated than articles make it out to be. Any automatic or suppressed (eg: "silencer") firearms are in the BATF categorization of 'Class III' Firearms. As far as any automatic firearms go, civilians can only own them once they pass a very thorough background check (usually 2-7 months depending on how quickly the BATF is running), must always carry the papers on them, and must pay a $250 tax stamp. Furthermore, civilians can only buy automatic firearms which are made before 1984 (I may be off a year but the cap was set around then) and automatic firearms made before this are called "pre-ban". Because of the (very) limited amount in circulation, they commend prices that are often 20 times more than their semiautomatic counterparts. A semiautomatic (NON auto) AK-47 usually costs anywhere between $500-$1,000, depending on maker, age, quality, etc. An automatic AK-47 is more in the $15,000-$20,000 price range. Getting an auto AK under 10k is unheard of to me, and $15 is a more realistic figure. MP5's can go for well over $20,000. Even the cheapest of automatic firearms, generally MAC series (different than the "Uzi" which sells for muuuuch more), still sell for thousands of dollars. Before you can buy any machine gun, you need to be fingerprinted, background checked both state and federally, and may have checks including into more personal files. Not all gun shops are Class III dealers; actually very few of them are, and the licensing of becoming Class III is very different than traditional long and hand gun sales. Class III firearms are heavily regulated and their use in 'crime' is trivial.
     
  5. KingYaba thread starter macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #6
  7. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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  8. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    This is actually all about the excessive power of the NRA. Allowing private sales to be exempt from background checks makes background checks pointless. Had the NRA allowed such checks on private sales, such an operation wouldn't have been necessary. The NRA should share the blame for all those who have died.
     
  9. dime21 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I agree. While we're at it, we should hold Wal-Mart accountable for stabbing deaths (they sell loads of kitchen knives) and we should also hold Sports Authority and Dicks Sporting Goods accountable for anyone who has been beaten (they sell golf clubs and baseball bats). Lets not forget Lowes and Home Depot, they sell many toxic chemicals and poisons that have been used in murders as well. We cannot tolerate these instruments of death in our society!!111
     
  10. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #10
    There was a death by golf club in T.O. this week-end. ;)
     
  11. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    This was an incredibly irresponsible move by the BATFE.

    It's impossible to say what the news media means by Mexican gangs getting "AK-47s" from the US. I am almost certain the have gotten their facts wrong. It may seem like a small point, but I'd wager that the Mexicans are not buying fully-automatic rifles. Romanian-built "WASR" series semi-automatic versions of the Kalashnikov rifle are easily available in the US for around $500-$700 each. Due to the Kalashnikov's simple design, anyone with a few simple machine tools and access to Google can modify said rifles to fire fully automatic. Even in semi-auto form they are effective small arms.

    It is extremely unlikely that "real" machine guns were involved in this case; the red tape is simply too thick when there are much easier alternatives. As I said, a small point, but we should focus on the real issue here, which is that the BATFE knowingly allowed criminals to purchase guns in the first place.

    I would not be against background checks for private sales, but I don't see that becoming a reality in the forseeable future. Writing the legislation would be a massive political minefield, and enforcement would be extremely problematic. How do you prove that a gun was illegally sold after the legislation was enacted, if all previous transactions did not require documentation? The only solution might be a nationwide registration requirement for all (or probably all non-antique) firearms. A very tall order.
     
  12. dime21 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    "fast and furious": this could become big as it involves not only bad choices that resulted in the death of U.S. agents but also was of questionable legality. NRA is portraying it as a conspiracy by the administration to make real the whole guns-to-mexico thing as a means to create support for gun control. i'm not sure i'd go that far, imo this is more gross incompetence and cover-ups, rather than a conspiracy. in any case, this questioning by issa of holder is telling, and many of holder's facial expressions, defensiveness, and stalling tactics make him appear to be lying or dissembling. classic having an IG investigation cover it up. how long before someone calls for an independent prosecutor for this? IMO holder is lying big time here, he should be held accountable for this criminal program and the deaths that resulted.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_RmqbuNyHQ
     
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #13
    Anything new on this on crime by the atf? How the heck can they justify our govt giving illegal weapons to drug cartels in mexico and then trying to blame legal dealers for it??? Fast and Furious sounds more like Dumb and Dumber and we havent heard a word from Eric Holder? or Obama?
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #14
    Maybe they had a GPS transmitter hidden in the stock. ;)
     
  15. hulugu, Jun 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011

    hulugu macrumors 68000

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    #15
    This is a fair point, but the difference between the WASR series and the original Soviet AK designs are fairly subtle. The WASR series looks like the AKs and can fire the same round. I'd also bet that agents are getting that detail wrong as well, hence the confusion.
     
  16. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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  17. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #17
    I thought firing whistleblowers was illegal. Then again, I'm sure they terminated him for a number of other unrelated reasons. At least on paper.
     
  18. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #18
    It is, so what they do is dream up all kinds of other stuff and then say it has nothing to do with it:rolleyes: Our own govt is as corrupt as any and without over site and watch dog groups they would be getting away with anything because power corrupts every time. Still havent heard a word from Eric Holder , my guess is they are spinning their butts off trying to explain this one.
     
  19. KingYaba thread starter macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #19
    The article said they're firing him for leaking documents back in 2005. The ATF continues to be one of the worst departments in the US Government.

    Blatant retaliation. Mr. Holder, you need to answer some questions about this gun running operation.
     
  20. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    I guess it took them 6 years to do the paperwork? Non of this adds up at all. Even the whole operation make no sense whatsoever. This was a pure political move. Its sad as hell when our own govt is making up s... to promote a political agenda. Dumb and Dumber. We should demand a explanation by the silent Eric Holder and whoever else is involved. Makes me want to join the NRA!
     
  21. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    How do you figure Eric Holder to be retaliating for something that happened 4 years before Barack Obama took office and he was appointed Attorney General?
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #22
    CaptMurdock, the retaliation is for this recent--and legal--whistle-blowing. The excuse is an event of the past. When it happened and under whose regime is irrelevant. There is no statute of limitations when retaliation is underway.

    Note that many of the drug-gang killings in Mexico were committed with full-auto weapons--which did not come from US gun dealers, gun shows, or private individuals. The primary source is the Mexican army, with other full-auto weapons coming from groups such as FARC--who are supplied from China and Cuba. RPGs and hand grenades are not available from gunshows in the US, either. Remember that the Zetas came from the Mexican army's Special Forces.

    To not believe that this is an orchestrated anti-gun PR stunt is to be naive and to ignore the voting records and public statements of the various people in authority in our government. The sad thing is that they are even more incompetent than the people in charge for the Waco debacle--which itself was initiated as a PR stunt to justify more money at upcoming budget hearings.

    Laws'n'guns: Prior to the 1986 ban on sales of newly-made full-auto firearms, a brand-new full-auto "Tommy gun" sold for about $760 plus tax. Within a few years after the ban, the price had risen into the thousands. Now? Omigawd!
     
  23. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #23
    Let me see if I have this correct. The ATF made some guns traceable (some sort of secret serial number or ID chip) and then allowed suspected middlemen legally purchase the guns so that they could build a case. If the middlemen were operating above board, then the guns would only be sold in accordance with US law, and doesn't that make all the 2nd Amendment/NRA people happy?

    The guns were then (behind closed doors and illegally) sold or smuggled by the middlemen to criminals who then used the guns in crimes.

    Now that the guns were used in crimes, the secret ID/serial number just provides evidence of what everyone suspected. That US guns are being smuggled and are used in criminal activities, and we NEED stricter regulations and licensing to prevent guns from falling into the hands of the bad guys.

    In other words, the NRA is unhappy that the ATF exposed that bad things happen when guns are minimally regulated.

    Can anyone tell me what the ATF did that was wrong? They "allowed" people to buy guns. Were they supposed to monitor legal purchasers use and reselling of guns? Wouldn't the NRA be upset about that?
     
  24. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Sorry, all I'm seeing is a well-intentioned, albeit not-very-well-thought-out covert law enforcement op gone wrong, resulting in the tragic death of a Border Patrol Agent, and not the onset of a massive coup by liberty-hating, gun-confiscating Big Brotherites as repeated hyped by the frothing-at-the-mouth right-wing media and blogosphere.

    Should some of these people lose their jobs? Absolutely. Should criminal charges be filed against them? Maybe.

    But some of you need to wipe the rabid foam of your keyboards. Big Bad Barry ain't coming for your guns. Relax.
     
  25. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #25
    So we have the atf breaking the law removing serial numbers, then breaking the law giving or selling them to drug cartels then stopping their own agents trying to enforce current law then how could they prosecute anyone let alone mexicans in mexico? Now these guns have been involved with killing Americans. Non of this makes any sense as far as I can tell.
    Every gun thats sold in the U.S. should be done so with a background check. Are you telling me that folks can just buy guns like they do bubblegum?
     

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