Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

GAO Reports On Arms Trafficking In Mexico

Friday, June 19, 2009

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this week entitled, "Firearms Trafficking: U.S. Efforts to Combat Arms Trafficking to Mexico Face Planning and Coordination Challenges." 

Among other things, the report asserts that Mexican officials consider illicit firearms the number one crime problem affecting their country's security; that about 87 percent of firearms seized in Mexico and traced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) in the last five years originated in the United States; and that these firearms are increasingly more powerful and lethal, including "high-caliber and high-powered" AK-47 and AR-15 type semi-automatic rifles. The report further contends that the country's law enforcement agencies are insufficiently organized, and that Mexico has a history of corruption at the federal, state and local levels. 

With regard to the "87 percent" statistic, the report's figures make clear that 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. 

The report also states "According to U.S. and Mexican government officials, these firearms have been increasingly more powerful and lethal in recent years.  For example, many of these firearms are high-caliber and high-powered, such as AK and AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles."  The report, however, states that about 25 percent of firearms traced were of that type, which works out to only eight percent of all firearms seized.  Also, the report does not indicate what percentage of murders is committed with various types of firearms, but it does note, "The majority of the casualties have been individuals involved in the drug trade in some way." 

The report further states that, "The U.S. government faces several significant challenges in combating illicit sales of firearms in the United States and stemming their flow into Mexico." These include "restrictions on collecting and reporting information on firearms purchases, a lack of required background checks for private firearms sales, and limitations on reporting requirements for multiple sales" and even the fact that the U.S. government is prohibited by law from maintaining a national registry of firearms. 

But as we know, the gun control measures indicated would not be effective against purchasers who can pass instant background checks.  As the report noted,
"Firearms [purchases] at gun shops and pawn shops for trafficking to Mexico are usually made by 'straw purchasers,' according to law enforcement officials. These straw purchasers are individuals with clean records who can be expected to pass the required background check and who are paid by drug cartel representatives or middlemen to purchase certain guns from gun shops." 

Finally, the report noted that, "Another significant challenge facing U.S. efforts to assist Mexico is corruption among some Mexican government entities. Government officials acknowledge fully implementing these reforms will take considerable time, and may take years to affect comprehensive change." And, "According to Mexican government officials, corruption pervades all levels of Mexican law enforcement -- federal, state, and local. For example, some high ranking members of federal law enforcement have been implicated in corruption investigations, and some high publicity kidnapping and murder cases have involved corrupt federal law enforcement officials."

Obviously, Mexico has a huge problem with rampant corruption that clearly cannot be blamed on the U.S.  At the same time, Mexico has extremely prohibitive gun laws, yet has far worse crime than the U.S.  

More evidence of what is truly happening in Mexico was brought out in a series of hearings held earlier this year.  During those hearings, three representatives of U.S. law enforcement, one each from BATFE, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 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. (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" , and Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs: "Law Enforcement Responses to Mexican Drug Cartels"

For American gun owners, the battle will be to make sure that politicians who see an opportunity to advance their gun ban agenda do not use Mexico as an excuse to  sacrifice our Second Amendment rights.

Report on arms smuggling to Mexico called incomplete
Los Angeles Times

TRENDING NOW
Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Now With More Banning! Dianne Feinstein Introduces “Updated” Federal “Assault Weapons” Ban (S. 66)

On Wednesday, longtime gun control extremist Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the latest version of her perennial bid to rid America of its most popular types of rifles, as well as the standard capacity magazines that ...

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

Monday, January 14, 2019

Wisconsin: Governor Evers Starts Session with Gun Control Push

With the 2019 Wisconsin Legislative Session convened, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul are already working with legislators to pass sweeping gun control.

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Canada’s Gun Control Advocates Boast Handgun Ban is “Within Reach”

On August 28, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau instructed Bill Blair, his minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, to examine the feasibility of “a full ban on handguns and assault weapons in ...

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

News  

Hunting  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Monster Mistake, Take Two?

Capitulating to radical, anti-gun extremism has become acceptable to some within the business community in recent years, especially for companies that seem to care little about our rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.  We’ve seen banks ...

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

News  

Friday, January 11, 2019

Background Checks: No Impact on Criminals

We have seen a generation of gun-grabbers rise and fall. The new generation of gun-grabbers are pushing for the same tired and baseless policies that won’t so much as inconvenience criminals. We understand the emotional ...

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

Take Action  

News  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tell Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills

This week two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called “universal” background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is ...

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

Friday, January 11, 2019

Oregon: Anti-Gun Bills Pre-Filed, Legislature to Convene Monday

The 2019 Oregon Legislative Session will convene on Monday, January 14th, and anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed numerous bills to infringe upon your rights and more bills are expected in the coming weeks.

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

Friday, January 11, 2019

Illinois: Firearm Registration & Dealer Licensing Bill May Reach New Governor’s Desk

On January 10th, Illinois state Senate President John Cullerton removed a hold on a bill potentially to make the unprecedented move of attempting to send a bill passed by the previous legislature to a newly ...

Washington: 2019 Session Convened, Committee Hearings Scheduled

Monday, January 14, 2019

Washington: 2019 Session Convened, Committee Hearings Scheduled

The 2019 Washington Legislative Session convened today, January 14th, and anti-gun legislators have already pre-filed and scheduled hearings for bills that will infringe upon your Second Amendment rights.

Indiana: Lake County Commissioners to Vote on Firearm Discharge Ordinance

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Indiana: Lake County Commissioners to Vote on Firearm Discharge Ordinance

On January 16th at 10:00AM, the Lake County Board of Commissioners will be voting on whether to approve the proposed amendment to Ordinance No. 1314B previously passed by the County Council to restrict the discharge of firearms ...

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.