One of the revelations to come out of the Phoenix operation has been that the ATF ordered responsible gun store owners to go through with sales after the store owners raised objections with the ATF about doing so. The ATF subsequently attempted to target those gun store owners as being reckless. In effect, those store owners may have been set up. It is that reality that parallels what allegedly happened with Carter's Country, a gun store in Houston the ATF says only contacted them once about a shady purchaser. As you'll see, that's not the way Carter's Country remembers it.
Via KPRC 2 in Houston:
Now, congressional leaders want to know if similar problems happened in Houston during an investigation done under the auspices of an ATF initiative called "Gunrunner." The operation targeted "straw buyers" in border states recruited to legally purchase handguns and high-powered rifles only to hand the weapons over to members of the drug cartels.Based on what happened in Phoenix, I'm inclined to side with Carter's Country on this one. It's beginning to look like this entire operation was about pushing a gun control agenda. If we can start adding attempts to frame innocent gun store owners to the list of charges, this could get even uglier than we imagined.
"The ATF agents encouraged them to go through with the sales," said Houston attorney Dick DeGuerin, who represents Carter's Country, the largest independent gun retailer in our region.
DeGuerin said starting in 2006, Houston ATF agents asked Carter's Country for help by alerting agents when a suspicious gun buyer tried to purchase multiple weapons. DeGuerin referred to this effort as a "stall and call."
"Stall the purchaser, call the ATF, let an ATF agent come out and watch the sale so they could follow it," DeGuerin said.
"Did the ATF always show up?" asked Local 2 Investigator Robert Arnold.
"No, they didn't," DeGuerin said.
DeGuerin claimed there were at least six instances when agents did not show up when store employees alerted the ATF to a suspicious gun buyer. Yet, DeGuerin said the ATF still told employees to let the sales go through.
It's also newsworthy that the ATF would not comment on camera in this report.
Sipsey Street is speculating that if the Oversight Committee digs into the Houston operation, which it appears to be starting to do, it may find that far more guns were trafficked to Mexico out of Houston than from Phoenix
h/t Sipsey Street