BELLEVUE, Wash., April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today said Kenneth E. Melson, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, should resign or be fired for continued stonewalling on "Project Gunrunner," the controversial operation that allegedly allowed thousands of guns to be funneled across the border into Mexico.
Congressman Darrell Issa today threatened Melson with contempt for failing to produce documents that Issa's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subpoenaed on March 31. Melson had until April 13 to provide the documents, and the deadline passed without any response.
"Melson's continued stonewalling on the Project Gunrunner investigation is intolerable," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. "It appears obvious that he has no intention of cooperating with Congress on this serious matter. He should resign or be fired, and he should be replaced by a professional who will work quickly to clean up the ATF, and that starts with providing all Project Gunrunner documents to Congress."
Rep. Issa sent a letter to Melson earlier today, chastising him for not complying with the subpoena. In that letter, Issa also complained that Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich's responses on behalf of the ATF have been "largely unhelpful."
"It appears that Mr. Weich is running interference for Melson and the ATF officials who controlled Gunrunner and its adjunct, Operation Fast-and-Furious," Gottlieb said. "The only conclusion one can draw from this is that Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department is fully engaged in this smoke and mirrors sham."
"Obama administration officials evidently believe this scandal will just go away if they ignore it," he continued. "Congressman Issa's committee has every right to demand documents and the authority to review them. Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration in history, and this cover up proves his rhetoric was as empty as the suit he is wearing."
"If Melson, and for that matter, Weich, cannot deliver today," Gottlieb concluded, "they should both clean out their desks tomorrow."
With more than 650,000 members and supporters nationwide, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (www.ccrkba.org) is one of the nation's premier gun rights organizations. As a non-profit organization, the Citizens Committee is dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists in local communities throughout the United States.
SOURCE Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms