The cries of "weak U.S. gun laws are causing carnage in Mexico" are being screeched again, and the BATFE wants a piece of the action.
Faced with spiraling drug violence along the border, senior U.S. officials met with their Mexican counterparts Wednesday and announced steps to stem the flow of illegal weapons into Mexico.I've commented recently about the "machine guns, bazookas and grenades," pointing out that such items are extremely heavily regulated in the U.S.--"weak laws" here aren't responsible for Mexican drug gangs' possession of them. But don't worry--"Maximum Mike" is on the case, so we're sure to get to the bottom of this.
Officials said that many of the weapons – including powerful handguns and semiautomatic assault rifles – are purchased legally at shops and gun shows, and that Houston and Dallas are two of the top sources. The guns are typically carried south across the border by multiple couriers whom some officials referred to as an "army of ants."
Even black-market military-style weapons, such as .50-caliber machine guns, bazookas and grenades, have been seized in raids.
"Drug-trafficking organizations have made life at the border increasingly dangerous," Michael J. Sullivan, acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said in El Paso. "And this danger extends across the border and into several parts of Mexico."In fact, his boss, Attorney General Michael Mukasey (who, incidentally, is also the boss of solicitor general Paul Clement, author of the Department of Justice's D.C. v. Heller amicus brief that has the D.C. legal team "gratified," and has the Brady Bunch's Paul Helmke "saluting" the administration) is now announcing a new program just to deal with this issue.
In Mexico City, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the goal of what officials are calling Project Gunrunner is to dry up the cartels' arms supply in the U.S. by punishing gun dealers who knowingly sell weapons to "straw" buyers who then resell them illegally."Project Gunrunner," eh? And just how, might I ask, does the BATFE intend to determine which gun dealers "knowingly" sell firearms to "straw purchasers"?
"I certainly foresee a tightening-up of the way gun dealers distribute guns if, in fact, they are selling to straw purchasers," Mr. Mukasey said after meeting with his Mexican counterpart, Eduardo Medina Mora, and Mexican President Felipe Calderón.I see Bloomberg-style "sting" operations in gun shops, but this time carried out with the force of law behind them, rather than just the force of Bloomberg's ego (a not inconsiderable force, admittedly).
"I see tighter enforcement of regulations requiring that they get proper identification and that they check these people before they sell guns, and inevitably we are going to find people who are not doing what they ought to do, and they will be prosecuted," Mr. Mukasey said in an interview.
Under Project Gunrunner, ATF is adding 35 special agents along the border. The multi-agency El Paso Intelligence Center will receive three additional ATF agents, for a total of 10, and an additional investigator, for a total of four. Other agents will be stationed in Mexico. EPIC will serve as a clearinghouse for ATF operations and will gather intelligence on the cartels responsible for the violence.On the bright side, I suppose that the more manpower and funding they use going after folks in other countries, the less they'll have available for jack-booted thuggery here.
The article goes on for a while, but I'm going to leave it alone, after mentioning one more bit of hysterical fear mongering:
One of the most popular weapons is the FN 57, a Belgian-made handgun known in Mexico as mata policias – "cop killer" – because the bullets can penetrate body armor, the official said.Ah--the FN Five seveN hysteria. Trying to drum up support for H.R. 1784, are we?
Look out, Texas and Arizona--here comes "F Troop."