Fast and Furious Scandal Gives Rise to Gun Regulation Debate
As a candidate, Barack Obama once endorsed a ban on handguns and favored restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms. So when gun owners heard of Operation Fast and Furious, many feared the worst.
Now, newly revealed emails suggest that if the gun-running operation didn’t start out with that intent, as administration officials insist, the program certainly led to discussions on new gun regulations.
“There’s a lot of talk that President Obama stated that he is working for gun control with alternative methods,” said Arizona gun dealer Jeff Serdy. “I hope this isn’t one of them.”
Serdy and others suspect the Obama administration used the gun-running operation to support regulations Congress would not even consider, namely, a rule requiring gun stores in the Southwest to report anyone who tries to buy multiple “long guns,” or rifles, in a one-week period.
“If the American people learn that the motivations for all of this was to make a case to deprive them of their Second Amendment rights or to make a case to further the (Justice) department’s ability to further regulate gun rights within the United States, that would make them very angry,” said Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks.
Holder insists that’s not accurate.
“Clearly, an attempt to use Fast and Furious as a way to bolster the request for that long-gun regulation would have been foolhardy,” he told the House Judiciary Committee last week.
There is no evidence the administration initially considered using the operation to justify stronger gun laws. But as the investigation dragged on, and Washington saw more and more weapons from U.S. gun stores show up at Mexican crime scenes, at least some officials saw a political argument developing to support their legislative agenda.
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