Republicans and Democrats on Thursday grilled a top official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) over a series of controversial sting operations the agency has conducted in the wake of the “Fast and Furious” gun tracking operation.
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Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), who presided over the Judiciary subcommittee hearing, accused the agency of displaying an “amazing lack of judgment” in recent sting operations that have taken place since ATF Director Todd Jones took over as acting director in August 2011.
“This doesn’t appear to be one operation gone, but a systemic problem plaguing the ATF,” Sensenbrenner said at the hearing. “After operation ‘Fast and Furious,’ we were told numerous times that changes were coming to the ATF under the new leadership. I certainly hope this operation and others like it are not indicative of those changes, because they aren’t changes for the better at all.”
The lawmakers zeroed in on two failed sting operations, where ATF agents set up phony storefronts and tried to convince criminals to sell them drugs and guns at a premium.