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Project Gun Runner Nov2010 Review

Project Gun Runner Nov2010 Review

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Published by Kim Hedum
Department of Justice put this out which means they are working to make themselves look good.
Department of Justice put this out which means they are working to make themselves look good.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Kim Hedum on Jul 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This review examined ATF’s implementation of Project Gunrunner’s
mission to reduce firearms trafficking to Mexico and related violent crime.30
We examined ATF’s execution of its enforcement and regulatory programs
related to the Southwest border and Mexico, its effectiveness in developing
and sharing intelligence, its traces of Mexican crime guns, its coordination
with U.S. and Mexican law enforcement, and how ATF worked with USAOs
to prosecute firearms traffickers.


We conducted our fieldwork from November 2009 through June 2010.
We also gathered updated information from ATF through September 2010.
In evaluating the impact of Project Gunrunner, we generally examined ATF
activities from FY 2006, when the project became a national program,
through FY 2009. When it was available, we also examined data from
FY 2004 through FY 2009 to compare ATF’s operations for 3 years before
and after its implementation of Project Gunrunner.

This review is the second conducted by the Office of the Inspector
General (OIG) on Project Gunrunner since 2009. The first review examined
ATF’s planning, hiring, staffing, and allocation of resources for Project
Gunrunner, including its expenditure of $10 million in Recovery Act
funds.31 This second Project Gunrunner review continued the examination
of ATF’s procedures for coordinating among its Southwest border field


In this review we conducted interviews; performance, trace,
prosecutorial, and investigative data analyses; and document reviews. We
also visited ATF’s National Tracing Center and Violent Crime Analysis

30 Although our review included ATF’s efforts to reduce violent crime associated
with firearms trafficking to Mexico, the causes of changes in the levels of violence along the
border are numerous and are not attributable only to ATF’s implementation of Project

31 U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Interim Review of
ATF’s Project Gunrunner,
Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2009-006 (September 2009).

U.S. Department of Justice


Office of the Inspector General
Evaluation and Inspections Division

Branch in Martinsburg, West Virginia; ATF’s Dallas, Phoenix, and
Los Angeles Field Divisions; and its Mexico Country Office in Mexico City.32


We conducted 99 in-person and telephone interviews with personnel
from ATF headquarters, ATF’s Dallas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles Field
Divisions and selected offices, and the Mexico Country Office; the Executive
Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA) and USAOs in several Southwest
border districts; the Department’s Criminal Division; the DEA; the
U.S. Department of State; DHS, including its ICE and CBP components; and
military and law enforcement officials of the Mexican government.
Appendix III provides a list of all interviewees.

Data Analysis

We analyzed several types of ATF and USAO data that generally
covered FY 2004 through FY 2009. The ATF data included gun trace results
from the Southwest border and Mexico, Project Gunrunner cases initiated
and referred to USAOs for federal prosecution, inspections of gun dealers in
the Southwest border states, and statistics on active gun dealers and
multiple sales of handguns. We also reviewed data from ATF’s case
management system on Industry Operations Investigators’ generation and
referral of investigative leads to ATF agents. Finally, we analyzed USAO
data from its Legal Information Office Network System (LIONS), on
declinations of ATF’s Project Gunrunner cases and of ATF-led joint cases
that were referred to USAOs for prosecution. LIONS collects case
information for federal criminal offenses, but does not track its cases as
being Project Gunrunner cases.

Document Review

We reviewed ATF policies, guidelines, and plans relating to Project
Gunrunner and firearms trafficking. These included operating plans,
intelligence products, performance measures, directives and guidance to
field personnel, and field office documents. We also reviewed ATF and
EOUSA budget requests and resource justifications related to firearms
trafficking and Southwest border operations. In addition, we reviewed
EOUSA policies and guidelines related to the prosecution of ATF’s firearms
trafficking-related Project Gunrunner cases. We reviewed ATF managers’

32 During the fieldwork for our previous report on Project Gunrunner, we also
visited ATF’s Houston Field Division and its McAllen Field Office, as well as the Las Cruces
Field Office of the Phoenix Field Division. Some of the information we obtained from those
interviews contributed to our findings in this report.

U.S. Department of Justice


Office of the Inspector General
Evaluation and Inspections Division

testimony and statements to Congress, as well as congressional testimony
by EOUSA, DHS, and Office of the Attorney General officials on firearms
trafficking and Southwest border violence.

Consistent with our standard practice, on September 3, 2010, we
provided a working draft of this report to ATF and other components and
agencies for their review and comment. In response to their comments, as
well as a result of updated data and information provided by ATF, we made
some changes to the working draft where appropriate.

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Inspector General
Evaluation and Inspections Division


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