WASHINGTON - The Senate has voted to effectively block the Justice Department from undertaking gun-smuggling probes like the flawed "Operation Fast and Furious" program that was aimed at breaking up networks running guns to Mexican drug cartels but which lost track of hundreds of the weapons.
Some of the weapons were used to commit crimes in Mexico and the U.S.
Tuesday's vote would block the government from transferring guns to drug cartels unless federal agents "continuously monitor or control" the weapons.
Operation Fast and Furious was a gun-smuggling investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives aimed at tracking small-time illicit gun buyers up the chain to major traffickers in an effort to take down arms networks. In the process, ATF agents lost track of many of the weapons.
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