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Monday, February 6, 2012

Holder Testifies on “Fast and Furious”

Based on a report by the NRA

On Thursday, February 2, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding his role in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' gun running operation known as “Fast and Furious.”

During the hearing, Holder continued to deny any foreknowledge of the botched operation. Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House committee, led the charge in questioning Holder on his involvement and knowledge. When Issa asked Holder if he had been briefed on the wiretaps presented in this case, Holder responded, "These wiretaps are very voluminous, read well kinds of things. I have not read them."

The U.S. Attorney General has an obligation to the American people to know what is going on under his watch, but throughout the hearing Holder continuously tried to distance himself from the activities of his staff.

At one point during the hearing, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) told Holder, "You've not taken action, you've not fired anybody, you haven't changed policy, because it's clear you didn't enforce the policy before."

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“Fast and Furious” was also used as justification to force what amounts to a gun registration scheme. Devised by Holder and the Obama administration, the scheme requires federally licensed firearms retailers in states bordering Mexico to report all sales of two or more semiautomatic rifles within five consecutive business days, if the rifles are larger than .22 caliber and use detachable magazines. Yet, under existing law, the bureau has full access to every record of every firearm transaction by every licensed dealer, whether during a bona fide criminal investigation or simply to enforce compliance with record keeping requirements.

This reporting scheme would create a registry of owners of many of today's most popular rifles--firearms owned by millions of Americans for self-defense, hunting and other lawful purposes. Emerging evidence has made it clear that “Fast and Furious” was used as justification to force the multiple sales reporting requirement.

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