While it's true thousands of guns recovered in Mexico have origins in the United States, it now appears trace data shows a vast majority of those guns did not pass through U.S. retailers like the Obama administration and the gun control crowd is fond of telling us.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) makes the disclosure in a news release and letter to the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Grassley accuses the agency of selectively cherry-picking data to misrepresent the origin of weapons recovered and traced:
"In his letter, Grassley provides a further break down of data of firearms tracing information, including a catchall category called “No Final Sale Dealer” in the ATF’s own eTrace system, which means the firearms did not trace back to a Federal Firearms Licensee. Astonishingly, nearly 78 percent of firearms traced in 2009 and 66 percent of firearms traced in 2010 were not traced to a United States licensed gun dealer. Grassley points out that these guns instead are likely sold to foreign countries or militaries requiring approval of the State Department and Homeland Security."
Looks like Grassley is tapping into data ATF would prefer to leave undisclosed.
Grassley's full news release and his letter to Acting Director Melson is available here.