The ranking Democratic member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on the flow of illegal guns between the U.S. and Mexico on Thursday in response to recent controversy over a botched gun-trafficking program.
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) called for the forum after several weeks of roiling revelations about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Operation “Fast and Furious,” which allegedly allowed thousands of U.S. firearms to be trafficked into Mexico in violation of federal law.
The operation is currently under a congressional investigation led by Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, who held several hearings on the program earlier this month and have said they plan to hold high-level Justice Department officials accountable.
Cummings has also voiced his desire to hold officials responsible. At a hearing earlier this month, he promised justice for family members of a Border Patrol agent killed by Mexican bandits near Rio Rico, Ariz., last December.
Two guns sold to staw buyers during the operation were recovered at the scene of the shootout.
“I promise you we will not rest until every single person responsible – no mater who they are – are put to justice,” Cummings told members of Brian A. Terry’s family.
Speakers at the minority hearing will include Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a former ATF agent and several gun control advocates.