WASHINGTON — The Senate has voted to block the Justice Department from undertaking gun-smuggling probes such as the fatally flawed Operation Fast and Furious program that was aimed at breaking up networks running guns to Mexican drug cartels but lost track of hundreds of the weapons.
Tuesday's vote would block the government from transferring guns to drug cartels unless federal agents "continuously monitor or control" the weapons.
Operation Fast and Furious was a gun-smuggling investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives aimed at tracking small-time illicit gun buyers up the chain to major traffickers in an effort to take down arms networks.
In the process, ATF agents lost track of many of the weapons, and many were used in crimes in the United States and Mexico, including the slaying of two U.S. officers.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., are heading investigations into Fast and Furious. Some members of Congress have pressed for the resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder over the scandal, as Newsmax has reported extensively.