Bloomberg News

Issa Says He May Recommend Putting Firearms Agency Into FBI

December 06, 2011

Dec. 2 (Bloomberg) -- A congressman leading an investigation into a law enforcement program that allowed illegal gun purchases in the U.S. said he may recommend moving the government’s firearms enforcement agency into the FBI.

U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said today that Congress must reorganize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which ran the operation called “Fast and Furious.” The program was created in an effort to link the illegally purchased weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

“ATF, perhaps, should be molded completely into the FBI and be done with it,” Issa, a California Republican, told reporters at a breakfast in Washington sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. “There is no reason you can’t have a special unit under the FBI” that investigates federal firearms laws.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and ATF are both part of the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that the operation was “flawed” and that its tactics shouldn’t be used again.

--Editors: Justin Blum, Leslie Hoffecker

To contact the reporter on this story: James Rowley in Washington at jarowley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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