• Andrew Rupp

Operation Gunrunner… Fast and Furious

Beginning in 2005, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) combatted firearm trafficking with the use of… firearm trafficking (1). The ATF initiated Project Gunrunner, later spawning Operation Fast and Furious in 2009, with the aim of impeding illegal firearm trafficking in Mexico by selling over two thousand firearms to potential suspects (2).

Inevitably, these guns were traced to crimes not only in Mexico, but also in resultant American fatalities (3). Further, as of 2012, not even half the firearms had been recovered (4), with resulting links to the “[…] use of a .50-cal against a Mexican police helicopter, […] the murder of a Mexican beauty queen, […] the coordinated Islamist attacks on Paris in 2015, [… and] the famous attack against the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan.” (5)


(1) Review of ATF’s Project Gunrunner. (2010). [online] , U.S. Department of Justice Office, pp.1–138. Available at: https://oig.justice.gov/reports/ATF/e1101.pdf.

(2) A Review of ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious and Related Matters. (2012). [online] US Department of Justice, pp.1–512. Available at: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/435412-justice-department-inspector-general-report-on#document/p114.

(3) Opinion | Fast, Furious and Foolish. (2012). The New York Times. [online] 20 Sep. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/opinion/fast-furious-and-foolish.html [Accessed 2 Apr. 2021].

(4) Dunn, S.P. (2017). FULL METAL JACKET: Challenges to Reducing Gun Violence in Obama’s America. [A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Political Science] Available at: https://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10092/15322/Dunn%2c%20Seamus_MA%20Thesis.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [Accessed 2 Apr. 2021].

(5) Jacobs, S. (2019). Operation Fast and Furious: The Forgotten History of the ATF’s Notorious Gunwalking Scandal | The Libertarian Institute. [online] https://libertarianinstitute.org/. Available at: https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/operation-fast-and-furious-atf-gunwalking-scandal-forgotten-history/ [Accessed 2 Apr. 2021].

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