ATF Abandons Plans to Destroy Obama-Era Gunrunning Program Evidence After Republicans Intervene

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 3: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the National Ac
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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has abandoned its plans to destroy gunrunning evidence from Operation Fast and Furious following Republican intervention.

News that the ATF planned to destroy Fast and Furious firearms emerged in early December and, on December 6, 2022, House Judiciary ranking member Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a letter urging the ATF to reverse course.

The letter was addressed to ATF director Steve Dettelbach and said in part:

Although the ATF apparently intends to forget its dangerous misconduct in Operation Fast and Furious, the scandal is still a matter of public concern. In fact, earlier this year, prosecutors in Mexico charged seven individuals with crimes related to Operation Fast and Furious, including Mexico’s former top police official and a former Mexican Federal Police commander. Given the potential for ongoing criminal and possible civil actions, it is not in the interest of justice for the ATF to destroy potential evidence associated with Operation Fast and Furious. I request that you immediately take steps to preserve all evidence associated with Operation Fast and Furious and confirm in writing that you have done so.

Breitbart News spoke with Jordan’s office Friday, and they indicated that the ATF responded to Jordan by letting him know they would not destroy the firearms.

The House Judiciary GOP responded to the ATF’s reversal by tweeting, “The agency reversed course and informed us that it will now preserve the evidence related to the Obama/Biden scandal.”

Jordan noted that the continued existence of the evidence is paramount, as “there is still ongoing litigation in Mexico” concerning Fast and Furious.

Moreover, Jordan pointed out that the gunrunning scheme failed to result in the arrest of drug cartel leaders, which was the ubiquitous goal of the operation, and it resulted in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

Breitbart News reported the Fast and Furious trial related to Terry’s death, noting that Border Patrol Agent William Castano broke down in tears on the witness stand September 23, 2015, as he described searching for a bullet wound in fellow agent Brian Terry the night Terry was murdered with guns from Operation Fast and Furious.

Terry was shot and killed on the night of December 14, 2010. The murder trial of Jesus Leonel Sanchez-Meza and Ivan Soto-Barraza was underway during the third week in September 2015, while two other individuals had already been sentenced for their involvement in the attack and two remained at large.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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