Amazingly, There Is No Federal Law Against Gun Trafficking

Rep. Caroline Maloney (D-N.Y.) first learned that there is no federal law against gun trafficking at, of all places, a Fast and Furious hearing. In June 2011, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform convened to scrutinize the gunrunning sting known as Fast and Furious, which had flown off the rails when agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) allowed assault weapons to land in the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Much of the hearing was occupied with Republicans skewering the Obama Administration, but for a moment, the narrative flipped when Peter Forcelli testified. Forcelli, the ATF’s Phoenix field office supervisor, described just how difficult and often pointless it is to go after gunrunners. He described the existing laws against them as “toothless,” adding that it’s “difficult to obtain convictions.”

Maloney recalls being astounded by what she heard. “He basically said, ‘We don’t even prosecute

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