El Salvador gun 'study' repeats familiar pattern David Codrea|Gun Rights Examiner January 8, 2014 Study shows over 60 percent of weapons in El Salvador come from U.S., a Tuesday report from inSerbia claims. The United States government agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), along with the federal and municipal governments of El Salvador set out to see just where the weapons are coming from. The claim of a massive percentage is a familiar one to those who have seen the same technique used by the Obama administration and its supporters to justify tighter U.S. gun restrictions. After all, having U.S. guns recovered from violent crime scenes was at the core of Operation Fast and Furious gunwalking. Longtime readers will recall claims about Mexican crime guns being sourced to American gun shops, with numbers initially stated at 95 to 100 percent and then going down to 80 percent, and dwindling embarrassingly from there. The initial exploitable number came from the Statement of David Ogden, Deputy Attorney General, United States Department of Justice, before the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing entitled Southern Border Violence: Homeland Security Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Responsibilities, presented March 25, 2009, who testified 90 percent of the firearms about which ATF receives information are traceable to the United States. "About which ATF receives information" is the part to focus on. This is further clarified with a qualifier, admitted to by no less than John Kerry, that one out of every four weapons seized by Mexican authorities ... was submitted to ATF. In other words, the number did not represent of 90 percent of the cartels' firearms. It represented 90 percent of 25 percent of guns reported seized, with no way to verify how many were actually seized, and with no indication of what percentage of those seizures came from cartel members vs. corrupt government officials, including military and police. The same types of statistical reliability concerns may be inferred from the El Salvador report. The study, ongoing since 2011, has tracked just under 39,000 of the estimated 200,000 weapons circulating throughout the nation, the article states. To identify which weapons were counted, authorities said the only prerequisite was that the weapon was legally brought into the country... Two paragraphs later, a contradiction emerges. According to Harry Peñate, the head of the ATFs Central America division, most of the weapons are purchased legally by a buyer in the United States and the weapons are then hidden among other major shipments like auto parts, refrigerators, and other appliances and shipped to El Salvador, the report states, in seeming direct refutation of the earlier claim about legal imports. Theres an interesting thing about El Salvador. Their gun laws sound like much of what the Bradys and the Bloombergians are asking for, at least openly. Per GunPolicy.org, a Sydney School of Public Health project providing an online compilation of global gun statistics and law summaries: Guns in El Salvador are regulated by the Ministry of National Defence and the National Civil Police...In El Salvador, only licensed gun owners may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition...An applicant for a firearm licence in El Salvador must pass a background check which considers mental records...In El Salvador gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm licence every six years for possession, three years for a licence to carry...In El Salvador, authorities maintain a record of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition...In El Salvador, the law requires that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register... Yet in spite of this, El Salvador suffers from the 2nd-highest murder rate in the world at 69.2 murders per 100,000 residents... The pattern could be repeated in Brazil, or Mexico, or murder capital Honduras, or any number of such countries that have enacted similar edicts. And if one is to believe the citizen disarmament special interests, its all overwhelmingly due to an absence of common sense American gun laws.