Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Heavily-Armed Cartel Attacks Mexican Army;<br> Weapons Used Show U.S. Gun Laws Not To Blame

Friday, April 2, 2010

At the end of March, troops of a major drug cartel launched a series of attacks on military personnel and installations in a half dozen cities in the northern Mexican states of Nueva Leon and Tamaulipas. Fortunately, things did not work out as the narco-thugs had hoped. At least 18 of them are now taking the kind of siesta from which there is no awakening and, at last count, only one Mexican soldier was injured.

Contrary to the notion that the cartels depend on semi-automatic rifles bought illegally in the United States, the cartel conducted its attacks with a variety of weapons that cannot be legally bought anywhere in our country. As the Los Angeles Times reported, "In coordinated attacks, gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week. . . . The army said it confiscated armored cars, grenade launchers, about 100 military-grade grenades, [and] explosive devices" in addition to a large quantity of ammunition.

Contrast that reality with the fiction perpetuated by politicians on both sides of the border. NRA members certainly recall that soon after President Obama took office last year, Attorney General Eric Holder stated his support for an "assault weapon" ban as the solution to Mexico's drug violence. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.), the sponsor of the federal "assault weapon" ban in 1993, soon called upon President Obama to support the Inter-American Convention Against Illegal Arms Trafficking, claiming, "According to the Mexican government, about 90 percent of the weapons they seize from Mexican drug cartels came into the country illegally from the United States." Newspapers around the country fell for the ruse hook, line and sinker, parroting the 90 percent claim, as well as the utterly absurd, mathematically impossible claim that 2,000 guns cross from the U.S. into Mexico each day.

Apoplectic anti-gun members of Congress held dozens of hearings on the Mexico situation, including field hearings along the border. At one dog and pony show in El Paso, former Democrat Party presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) obligatorily called for a ban on the importation of "assault weapons," a ban already imposed in 1989 by the BATF (as it was then known), apparently without Sen. Kerry's knowledge. In fact, at a hearing on Capitol Hill, Sen. Feinstein nearly burst a blood vessel when a witness refused to support her belief that 2,000 guns crossed the border every day.

U.S. politicians have since maintained a low profile on the issue, fearful of the potential for a backlash at the polls in November. Last month, however, Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon, complained that "there are more than 10,000 gun stores along the American border with Mexico. . . . So, the United States must stop the flow of assault weapons to Mexico."

The claim is no more true today than when it was first floated a year ago. As we have noted, most of the guns that Mexico has seized from the cartels and asked the BATFE to trace (because markings on those particular firearms indicated that they came from the U.S.) represent only a small percentage of guns that Mexico has seized.

This was stated, though not clearly, in a Government Accountability Office report last summer (see document pages 14-15). However, lest anyone be misled by GAO's lack of thoroughness on this point, the Department of Homeland Security, in an appendix to the GAO's report (see page 69), set the record straight.

"DHS officials separately question the statistic involving the origination of weapons as currently presented by GAO," DHS said. "GAO asserts that, 'Available evidence suggests most firearms recovered in Mexico come from U.S. gun dealers, and many support Drug Trafficking Organizations.' and fuel Mexican drug violence. Using the Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) eTrace data, GAO determined that about 87 percent of firearms seized by Mexican authorities and traced from fiscal years 2004 to 2008 originated in the United States. DHS officials believe that the 87 percent statistic is misleading as the reference should include the number of weapons that could not be traced (i.e., out of approximately 30,000 weapons seized in Mexico, approximately 4,000 could be traced and 87 percent of those—3,480—originated in the United States.) Numerous problems with the data collection and sample population render this assertion as unreliable."

In the early part of the 20th century, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said "Sunlight is the best disinfectant." That is certainly the case in this story. As the vast scope of the Mexican drug cartels' multi-million dollar arsenals is incrementally uncovered, the attempt by opponents of the right to arms to use Mexico's problem as the excuse for restricting Second Amendment rights has fallen flat.

And to Mexico's soldiers who obliterated the cartels' punks and thugs last week, we say "buen tiro" (translation: "Good shooting").

TRENDING NOW

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

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. ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...

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.