Family of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry sues U.S. government

Guns recovered by ATF Agents
CBS

Today, the parents of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice and its Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). The lawsuit seeks $25 million dollars in compensation for Terry's death.

Terry was gunned down Dec. 14, 2010 in Arizona near the Mexico border, in an attack by illegal aliens armed with AK-47-type rifles. The rifles were part of ATF's then secret operation Fast and Furious, which allowed thousands of weapons to cross the border into Mexico in an attempt to lead to the "big fish" of a Mexican drug cartel. The controversial practice is called "gunwalking."

Terry's murder led some ATF agents who objected to their own agency's gunwalking, to blow the whistle to Congress and CBS News. Since then, the Justice Department has acknowledged gunwalking occurred; banned it in the future; and asked the Inspector General to investigate.

Terry's parents are also suing an Arizona gun store that cooperated with ATF in Fast and Furious by agreeing to sell weapons to suspicious buyers that would otherwise have been turned away. Several gun store owners who worked with ATF in gunwalking operations expressed concern over the tactics, but told Congressional investigators they felt forced to go along with the plan because ATF regulates the gun shops.

More Fast and Furious coverage:
More gunwalker questions for Attorney General Holder
Documents: ATF used "Fast and Furious" to make the case for gun regulations
Memos contradict Holder on Fast and Furious
Agent: I was ordered to let guns "walk" into Mexico
Gunwalking scandal uncovered at ATF
  • Sharyl Attkisson On Twitter»

    Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington.

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