Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

The Ongoing Mexico Crisis -- Blaming American Gun Owners

Friday, March 20, 2009

Congress has jumped in with both feet when it comes to the crisis of violence in Mexico, and the usual suspects are once again blaming American gun owners and American gun laws.  This week there were two more hearings, one in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Drugs and Crime, and the other in the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Western Hemisphere.  In both cases, anti-gun politicians such as Senators Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein, and Congressman Eliot Engel, blamed American gun laws for the crisis.  Fortunately, in both hearings, gun rights supporters in Congress stood up for American gun owners. 

In the House subcommittee hearing, Chairman Engel made it clear from the onset he viewed this issue from one perspective: guns. His solution to the ultra violent Mexican drug cartels is to blame American gun owners and American gun laws. 

Kristen Rand, the Legislative Director of the Violence Policy Center, repeated the unsubstantiated claim that 90% of guns seized from the cartels come from the U.S., blamed America's gun laws and called for BATFE to use the broadest possible interpretation of the "sporting purposes" test to ban a much larger class of semi-auto rifles. 

Congressman Connie Mack (R-Fla.), however, challenged Rand's claim that 90% of guns seized from the cartels are from the United States.  Rand cited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) for her claim. But the BATFE has only stated that 90% of the guns traced are from America.  BATFE only traces a fraction of the guns seized; those firearms are not selected randomly, but are likely selected because they are the guns most likely to have come from the U.S.  Trace data reveals nothing about the large number of guns that are not traced. 

In defending her call to ban the import of all "assault rifles" into America, Rand admitted she had no idea how many of those guns were subsequently smuggled into Mexico.  But a recent article in the Los Angles Times may shed some light on the real source of the cartels' weapons.  The article describes the military arms being used by cartels in their battles with the Mexican army and federal police, and how those weapons are entering Mexico not through the U.S., but through Central America

In the Senate Judiciary subcommittee, Chairman Durbin also made it clear he thought American guns, and not drug lords, drug users or illegal gun traffickers are the cause of violence in Mexico. Durbin had a terse exchange with Senator Jeff Sessions when Senator Sessions stated that American guns were not the problem.  Durbin snapped back at the Senator from Alabama, stating his firm belief that guns were indeed the problem. 

In addition to Durbin, Senator Dianne Feinstein used this forum to express her long opposition to American gun owners' rights.  In her remarks she made it clear she intends to use this crisis as an excuse to promote new gun laws here at home. During her remarks, she repeated the claim that 90% of seized guns come from America, and also stated that there are over 2,000 guns smuggled into Mexico from the U.S. each day. 

Feinstein even tried to elicit support for that number from a representative from the BATFE. But when he responded that the number was much lower, most likely in the hundreds, Senator Feinstein was clearly unhappy that he would not endorse her anti-gun soundbite. 

Not everything that came out of the hearings was negative.  In the Senate hearing, Senator Sessions made it clear that American gun rights should not be sacrificed.  His statement of support sent the message to anti-gun senators that they would find strong opposition to their efforts to use the Mexico crisis as an excuse to undermine those rights. 

Additionally, three representatives of U.S. law enforcement, one each from BATFE, Drug Enforcement Agency, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, made it clear that the increase in violence in Mexico is being misinterpreted by the media and politicians. They testified that the increase in violence is a direct result of the actions taken by Mexican President Felipe Calderon to take on the cartels.  The cartels, they testified, are being pressured more than ever before and are fighting back in desperation, resulting in casualties. But in the end, they believed, the battle to shut down the cartels would be won. 

For American gun owners, the battle will be to make sure that our Second Amendment rights are not sacrificed by scheming anti-gun politicians who see an opportunity to advance their gun ban agenda. 

NRA-ILA will continue to closely monitor all activities relating to the crisis in Mexico and will keep our members informed.  If you wish to view the hearings, please use the following links. 

House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere: "Guns, Drugs and Violence: The Merida Initiative and the Challenge in Mexico" 

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs: "Law Enforcement Responses to Mexican Drug Cartels"
TRENDING NOW
Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

Hunting  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Delaware: Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Sunday Deer Hunting

On July 11th, Governor John Carney signed Senate Bill 198 into law to expand hunting opportunities in Delaware by eliminating the prohibition against hunting for deer on Sundays and allowing for the harvesting of deer on Sundays ...

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

California DOJ Withdraws Proposed Regulations Expanding Application of “Assault Weapon” Definitions

On Monday, the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms (“CA DOJ”) officially withdrew the proposed regulations that would have expanded the improperly adopted “assault weapon” definitions, to apply in all circumstances. This withdrawal comes ...

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

News  

Friday, July 13, 2018

NRA Files Comments in Support of Trump Administration’s Export Reform Effort

On Monday, the public comment period closed on a pair of rulemakings that could finally free American gun owners and small businesses from being trapped in a minefield of federal regulations designed for exporters of ...

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Has Earned NRA Members’ Support

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Judge Brett Kavanaugh Has Earned NRA Members’ Support

NRA members can feel confident throwing their enthusiastic support behind President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout his time on the bench, Judge Kavanaugh has demonstrated deep respect ...

California: MASSIVE Data Breach and Significant Registration Problems with CA DOJ’s “Assault Weapon” Registration System

Saturday, July 7, 2018

California: MASSIVE Data Breach and Significant Registration Problems with CA DOJ’s “Assault Weapon” Registration System

Following the closure of the “assault weapon” registration period, NRA and CRPA received complaints from hundreds of individuals who were unable to register their firearms as required because CA DOJ’s online application system was unable ...

Mission Impossible: California Court Upholds Microstamping Law

News  

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Mission Impossible: California Court Upholds Microstamping Law

It is not surprising that gun control activists who harp endlessly about “common sense” gun restrictions and the need for ever more legislative reforms (here, here and here, for example) aren’t particularly interested in whether the various bans and ...

NRA Applauds Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

News  

Monday, July 9, 2018

NRA Applauds Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court

Fairfax, Va. -The National Rifle Association (NRA) applauds the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the United States Supreme Court. 

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Too Young or Too Old... To Own a Gun?

A common theme among anti-gun extremists is what we often refer to as the “Goldilocks” approach to limiting access to firearms by law-abiding citizens.  Rather than admit that the ultimate goal is to disarm all ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.