Two congressional Democrats, fresh from a trip to Mexico City, will propose tighter restrictions on gun trafficking to combat illegal U.S. sales that they say may supply 80 percent of the arsenals of Mexican drug cartels, reports the Los Angeles Times. Republicans countered that the move was an effort by Democrats to distract attention from the problems of an undercover operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that allowed 1,765 guns to be sold into Mexico.
Republicans, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), are investigating the operation, known as Fast and Furious. Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said that although the investigation into Fast and Furious was “very important,” they were looking for solutions to the broader problems of gun trafficking in Mexico. John Feeley, U.S. charge d’affaires in Mexico, warned that weapons trafficking was fueling “warlike activities” by the cartels, said a report by Cummings and Maloney. It quoted the former ATF attache in Mexico, Darren Gil, as saying: “Without a doubt, the majority of weapons that we’re recovering come from the U.S.”