THE FACTS: Operation Fast and Furious

11:23 AM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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Question: President Barack Obama said that Operation Fast and Furious started under President George W. Bush. Is that true?

Answer: The practice of "gun walking," or letting guns be bought illegally in Arizona with the idea of tracing them back to drug cartel kingpins in Mexico, was first tried in 2006 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The investigation was called Operation Wide Receiver.

ATF agents decided in the fall of 2009 to start up the gun-walking practice again. This program was called Operation Fast and Furious. A year later, one of the guns was found at the scene of a shootout that left a Border Patrol agent dead, leading to a congressional investigation.

While "gun walking" is something that predates Obama taking office, Fast and Furious clearly started after he was elected, so it's inaccurate to state otherwise.

(Jeffrey Bruner is the wire chief for the Gannett National Wire Desk in Des Moines.)

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