A gun used in the November Paris terrorist attack has reportedly been traced back to Phoenix where the Obama administration’s gun-running experiment Fast and Furious allowed criminals to buy thousands of weapons illegally.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives tracked one of the guns used in the November 13, 2015 attacks to a Phoenix gun owner who sold it illegally, according to Judicial Watch. The gun owner also had an unregistered fully automatic weapon, according to law enforcement officials with firsthand knowledge of the investigation.
Tracking the weapon following a paper trail, it was found that the Phoenix gun owner had at least two federal firearms violations, for selling one weapon illegally and for possessing an unregistered automatic, according to Judicial Watch. But no action was taken against the gun owner whose identity was “kept quiet,” law enforcement sources said.
“Agents were told, in the process of taking the fully auto, not to anger the seller to prevent him from going public,” a veteran law enforcement official told Judicial Watch.
It was not known if the agency did this because the gun owner was involved in the Fast and Furious sting operation.
However, a spokesman for the ATF at the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters said “no firearms used in the Paris attacks have been traced” by the agency. The spokesman, Corey Ray, further told Judicial Watch, “I’m not familiar with the report you’re referencing,” when asked about the report linking the Paris weapon to Phoenix.
Multiple calls to the Phoenix ATF office were not returned, Judicial Watch reported.
The federal gun-running program known as Operation Fast and Furious allowed criminals and suspected gun smugglers to buy weapons from federally licensed firearms dealers in Phoenix in the hopes that the arms could be traced to Mexican drug cartels. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives which ran the operation lost track of most of the weapons, many of which have been used in crimes, including the fatal shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.
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