HomeNewsBriefU.S. Department of Justice – ‘Interim Review of ATF’s Project Gunrunner’
BRIEF

U.S. Department of Justice – ‘Interim Review of ATF’s Project Gunrunner’

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 26 JAN 2011 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

This interim review, issued in September 2009 by the U.S. Justice Department, identifies problems within Project Gunrunner, an initiative by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) meant to reduce the illicit flow of firearms from the U.S. to Mexico.

The document notes, “In our view some planned Project Gunrunner activities do not appear to represent the best use of resources to reduce firearms trafficking, and issues with new office locations, staffing structure, personnel with Spanish proficiency, and program measures need to be addressed.”

The report concludes with seven recommendations for possible improvements in Project Gunrunner, including developing measures to more accurately evaluate the impact of the project.

From the executive summary:

In our review, we concluded that aspects of ATF’s Project Gunrunner expansion plans will enhance its ability to combat firearms trafficking. However, in our view some planned Project Gunrunner activities do not appear to represent the best use of resources to reduce firearms trafficking, and issues with new office locations, staffing structure, personnel with Spanish proficiency, and program measures need to be addressed.

ATF has reported that by September 30, 2010, it plans to place Gunrunner resources (personnel, offices, and equipment) dedicated to firearms trafficking investigations in McAllen, Texas; El Centro, California; and Las Cruces, New Mexico, including a satellite office in Roswell, New Mexico. Each of the three office locations will be staffed by a Gunrunner team, which will consist of Special Agents, Industry Operation Investigators, Intelligence Research Specialists, and Investigative Analysts. Four ATF agents will also be located in Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, Mexico. We believe the decisions to place new Gunrunner resources in McAllen, El Centro, Juarez, and Tijuana to be sound, based on ATF’s own criteria and our additional analysis.

However, we question the decision to place Gunrunner teams in Las Cruces and Roswell.

We also concluded that the staffing model ATF plans to use for the new Gunrunner teams appears adequate, provided ATF defines the reporting and supervisory structure. However, we found that ATF has insufficient numbers of personnel proficient in Spanish on Gunrunner teams.”

Finally, we concluded that more specific program measures are needed to accurately measure Project Gunrunner’s impact on cross-border firearms trafficking.

In this interim report we make seven recommendations for ATF to improve its allocation of resources and implementation of Project Gunrunner expansion plans.

Read full report. (pdf)

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 4 SEP 2013

Latin America has some of the highest gun homicide rates in the world, despite certain countries having relatively strict gun…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 13 JUL 2011

The U.S. Justice Department has announced plans to cut arms trafficking into Mexico by monitoring the sale of assault rifles…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 16 MAR 2017

The government of Jamaica has announced a rise in seizures of illegal weapons as part of a long-running gun control…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…