Further collaboration needed to stem firearm trafficking

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published a follow-up review on firearms trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico. GAO’s original firearms trafficking report was published in 2009.

In their recent report, GAO examines the origin of firearms seized in Mexico that have been traced by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The report also examines the extent to which collaboration among U.S. agencies combating firearms trafficking has improved, and the extent to which the National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy measures progress by U.S. agencies to stem firearms trafficking to Mexico.

Since 2009, ATF and the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have updated an interagency memorandum of understanding to improve collaboration. ATF and ICE have also taken other steps to improve coordination, including joint training exercises and conferences. However, GAO notes that ATF and ICE do not regularly monitor the implementation of the memorandum, which has led to gaps in information sharing and misunderstandings related to their roles and responsibilities.

GAO recommends that the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General of the United States take steps to formally monitor implementation of the memorandum of understanding between ATF and ICE.


For more information about this report, please follow the link below.
GAO-16-223, Firearms Trafficking: U.S. Efforts to Combat Firearms Trafficking to Mexico Have Improved, but Some Collaboration Challenges Remain

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