“When asked whether ATF had encouraged any gun dealer to proceed with sales to known or suspected traffickers such as Avila, the briefers said only that they did not have any ‘personal knowledge’ of that,” Sen. Charles Grassley wrote in his Feb. 16 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Such allegations are at the heart of claims by Carter’s Country Stores in the Houston area, linked to multiple firearms confiscated by Mexican authorities:
The lawyer for Carter’s, Dick DeGuerin, says they were acting at the behest of ATF, as tipsters on sales to suspected traffickers.
Further corroboration has been given to Grassley staffers by a gun store employee. A reader contacted this column about claims that had been made to him and some others over the Internet that were very similar to those made by DeGuerin.
The gist of the allegations is that a few years back, an Hispanic male purchaser bought two handguns from the store where the employee worked, that the background check allowed the sales to proceed, and that multiple handgun purchase reports were made to law enforcement as required.
On the same day, the same purchaser went to another company-owned store in that city and bought two of the same handguns, again passing the background check and making the required multiple purchase report—albeit there was no visibility between the two stores of this.
A week later, the purchaser came back to the first store to buy another handgun, and the manager became suspicious, delayed the transaction and called ATF. He was advised to order the gun for the customer and to notify them when it was due in. When the customer returned to the store, ATF allegedly instructed the manager to make the sale.
There was evidently a third time the customer returned, and ATF reportedly instructed the manager to tell him to come back later because the NICS (“instant check” system) was down. ATF informed the store manager they had the suspect purchaser under surveillance, had monitored him at his home address, and had observed him walk out of the shop and go to a restaurant.
According to the claims, ATF allowed approximately half a dozen guns to be sold to this customer before he ended contact with that store.
Still, these are admittedly all unproven, and so far unsourced Internet allegations. Anyone could have made them up and posted them anonymously to a group. What does retelling this prove?
Perhaps we shall see. Because that reader mentioned earlier disclosed that the storyteller wished to come forward and wanted to know who he should speak with. This correspondent provided contact information for Sen. Grassley’s aides, and it was reported back that the employee had spoken with Jason Foster, referenced at the end of Grassley’s letters as a designated contact, and another staffer on Tuesday morning.
It’s up to the reader to assess whether this bit of independent corroboration seems more credible than the obfuscation, noncompliance and denials of “personal knowledge” Sen. Grassley was subjected to in ATF’s “briefing”.
- A journalist’s guide to ‘Project Gunwalker’ for a complete list with links of independent investigative reporting and commentary done to date by Sipsey Street Irregulars and Gun Rights Examiner.
New from Sipsey Street Irregulars:
- Updated Summary, Narrative, Condensed Timeline and Document Sources of the “Project Gunwalker” Scandal.
- Senator Grassley’s latest letter: The street agents react. Did Acting Director Melson really call Senator Grassley an “a*****e”?
- Oh, wait, I almost forgot. This just in: “The Washington Post is STILL dead.”
Trigger Sports Recorded!
If you missed yesterday’s Trigger Sports Live! program, no worries. You can watch the recorded show at your convenience.
Per host James B. Towle, here’s what you’ll see:
- George Digweed, LIVE from the UK, discusses what 18-time World Champion wants shooters to know.
- MIT’s Shooting Team footage.
- Wal Mart fires four for courage under stress, Mark Walters comments.
- NRA convention preview, Rachel Parsons reports
- Newly deployed system can scan 3,000 license plates per hour…may be coming to you soon.
- Ministers and pastors should be held to the same standards as you and me…Dan reports.
- Film footage of robbery at McDonald’s, results in death.
- See photos of our hunting tradition, never seen before.
- Help us win Telly Awards! Vote for our videos: NSCA Zone 7 Trailer and Episode 95-NSCA Nationals
All this and more, at http://www.atsn.tv/- The #1 Network for Trigger Sports! On your computer, 24/7, when YOU want to see it!
Event DVD’s available from the ATSN.tv store.
Plus you’ll learn how close James and I both came to answering the call and becoming men of the cloth…not.
Help wanted–inquire within
Regular readers: If you agree that mainstream press coverage of the gun rights issue demands a counter-balance, please help me spread the word by sharing Gun Rights Examiner links with your friends via emails, and in online discussion boards, blogs, etc. (Also note “Share” options, below.) Then get more commentary at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance.