WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department's inspector general says he is conducting a four-city examination into storefront undercover operations run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to assess whether they pose a danger to the public. One of the cities is Wichita.
The ATF runs sting operations in various cities in an effort to catch arms traffickers who bring stolen weapons into storefronts where agents act as buyers.
KAKE News confirmed through the Justice Department the ATF had a storefront set up in the Wichita area at some point since July 2011. It may have started before then. The question is whether the ATF properly monitored the sting, to not put the general public at risk.
The Justice Department has not revealed at this point where the storefront was set up, how long it operated or whether it led to any arrests.
The BATF has been embarrassed in recent years over the gun walking scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious, which resulted in firearms falling into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. New monitoring rules were put in place, in the wake of that operation.
The IG's office says it is looking into storefront operations in Milwaukee, St. Louis and Pensacola, Fla., as well as Wichita.