While the Obama administration has been furiously defending its scandalous gun trafficking sting operation called Fast and Furious, an independent tracking effort by Syracuse University has revealed that Eric Holder’s Justice Department is prosecuting fewer federal gun crimes this year than the Bush administration was pursuing in 2005.
For all its trumpeting about going after gun crime, this is what TRAC Reports says about the Obama administration’s track record:
During the first ten months of FY 2011, federal prosecutions credited to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have fallen almost 7 percent from the previous fiscal year. This continues a downward slide that began six years ago, according to an analysis of timely Justice Department data by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).
TRAC, which stands for Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, is – according to its website – “a data gathering, data research and data distribution organization at Syracuse University.”
What it has to say about prosecutions under Obama/Holder says a lot about the results of Operation Fast and Furious, which only netted 20 low-level gun running suspects with an indictment earlier this year. The much-ballyhooed intent to track guns allowed to go south, and follow them up to bigwigs in the Mexican cartels, hasn’t materialized, and probably never will.
In short, the operation was something of a failure, especially since some 2,000 guns were allowed to walk into criminal hands, and at least two of those guns were recovered at the infamous crime scene where Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered last December.
According to the TRAC Report,
So far this fiscal year, the number of ATF-led investigations that resulted in prosecution have totaled 7,282. If the same pace continues for the remaining two months, criminal filings should reach 8,738. This would be 18 percent fewer than the peak in FY 2005 of 10,715 ATF prosecutions during the Bush Administration.
Looks like Bush was tougher on gun criminals than the current administration, but then, again, during the Bush years, there does not appear to have been an undertaking so perilously mishandled as was Fast and Furious. Obama has made something of a career since taking office of criticizing the Bush administration for its shortcomings. In the realm of firearms trafficking, that shoe is definitely on the other foot.
Since ATF-referred prosecutions peaked in FY 2005, the number of weapons prosecutions actually has fallen by 32 percent, a much higher rate than for ATF prosecutions overall.—TRAC Reports
Here in Washington State, recent prosecutions have involved a handful of low-level unlicensed gun dealers, as this column noted here and here.
When it comes to keeping guns out of the wrong hands, the current administration has apparently been far busier under the radar trying to keep guns out of the right hands, as this column noted earlier Monday.
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