Making a case for national gun registration, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said “perhaps mistakes were made” in the botched gun-walking program known as Fast and Furious, but she said trying to assign blame misses the larger problem.
“This is a deep concern for me. I know others disagree, but we have very lax laws when it comes to guns,” Feinstein, an advocate of gun control, said during Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.
“My concern, Mr. Chairman, is that there’s been a lot said about Fast and Furious, and perhaps mistakes were made,” Feinstein said. “But I think this hunt for blame doesn’t really speak about the problem. And the problem is, anybody can walk in and buy anything.”
In Operation Fast and Furious, a Justice Department program that began in September 2009, law enforcement knowingly allowed about 2,000 U.S. guns to flow to Mexican drug cartels, with the intent of tracking the weapons and making arrests. However, law enforcement lost track of most of the weapons. The program was halted in December 2010 after two weapons from the program were found at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, revealed Monday that he knew about Operation Fast and Furious going back to April 2010, but did not inform Attorney General Eric Holder about the matter.