Starting in late 2009, ATF allegedly directed an undetermined number of Phoenix-area gun shop owners to go ahead with sales of thousands of assault rifles and other weapons to suspicious buyers. Insiders claim ATF knew the buyers were connected to Mexico’s drug cartels, but let the guns “walk” onto the street anyway in a misguided attempt to obtain intelligence. ATF and the Justice Department have denied that.
Investigators from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) obtained the emails this week.
In an April 13, 2010 email, the unnamed gun shop owner told ATF he was worried how he’d be viewed if the guns he sold ended up in the wrong hands.
“We just want to make sure we are cooperating with ATF and that we are not viewed as selling to bad guys,” the gun shop owner wrote to ATF Phoenix Supervisor David Voth. The gun shop owner asked for a letter of understanding to “alleviate concerns of some type of recourse against us down the road for selling these items.”
Source: Sharyl Attkisson for CBS.com.