PITTSBURGH—The National Rifle Association’s CEO Saturday said Attorney General Eric Holder should step down for allowing an operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to occur on his watch that involved the sale of guns to suspicious customers with ties to Mexican drug cartels.
The ATF allegedly encouraged gun dealers to sell multiple firearms to known and suspected criminals as part of a broader sting operation to crack down on gunrunning. In a speech to thousands of gun activists here, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre said two assault rifles that the ATF “let walk” were found at the crime scene where a border patrol agent was gunned down in December.
“Operation Fast and Furious may have gotten one or perhaps two federal agents killed, and countless other innocent victims have been murdered with the illegal guns that our own government allowed into Mexico all to advance a political agenda,” he said.
The longtime NRA leader played clips of Obama saying neither he nor Holder authorized the operation.
“He’s the attorney general of the United States of America — the highest law-enforcement officer in our land,” LaPierre said. “Who’s in charge? If he didn’t know, then who’s minding the store? If Holder didn’t know, Holder has got to go.”