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)

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

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.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 28 JUN 2022

In its latest bid to curb the flow of illegal firearms and ensuing violence, Jamaica has turned to the United…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 9 SEP 2022

Brazil's border town of Corumbá is a well-known smuggling route from Bolivia. This is unlikely to change soon.

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 12 OCT 2021

Arms trafficking in Mexico has turned to digital mediums that offer both broad visibility and anonymity to an ever-increasing flow…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…