Rep. Issa wants answers from ATF on "gunwalking"

Guns recovered by ATF Agents

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is calling on the ATF to answer questions and produce documents about "gunwalking" operations where guns were allegedly allowed into Mexico in order to track drug cartels.

A CBS News investigation revealed that thousands of guns have found their way into criminal hands in Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious and Project Gunrunner.

In a letter sent to Kenneth Melson, acting director of the ATF, Issa urges him to "act decisively to assuage the public's deep suspicions" about the program.

"Recent media reports have raised grave questions about your department's handling of operations involving gun trafficking in Mexico," the letter begins. "In the aftermath of the tragic killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jamie Zapata, it is imperative that you act decisively to assuage the public's deep suspicions that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has a policy permitting - and even encouraging - the movement of guns into Mexico by straw purchasers."

The letter also accuses the agency of not cooperating with existing congressional inquiries on the program led by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

You can read the full letter here.

Justice Memo to Self: No Gunwalking Allowed
Holder: Gunwalking is wrong
Agent: I was ordered to let U.S. guns into Mexico

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