Mexican officials say the US is not doing enough to stop the flood of guns and ammunition across the border, which is fueling a spiraling homicide rate.
The nation has strict laws governing the personal ownership of firearms; under Article 10 of the constitution, citizens have to go through a rigorous process to purchase a gun which can only be kept at home for security and can only be employed under legitimate defense.
Unlike U.S. gun laws, Mexico prohibits the ownership of military assault rifles and only one store – which is located at a military base in Mexico City – is permitted to sell guns in the whole country.
However, a story published by the Los Angeles Times on Sunday found that guns, manufactured as far away as Connecticut, are readily available for sale in the black market.
Mexico is working to contain two battles at its border with the United States, immigration and gun smuggling, but says it needs more cooperation on the latter from its northern neighbor
Mexican authorities says that 41 percent of guns that are smuggled into its country come through its border with Texas, and as recently as last Thursday they intercepted an American man illegally transporting three guns and a large cache of firearm accessories
At least 200,000 weapons that have reached the hands of criminals on a yearly basis, according to Mexican government data released this summer
In Mexico City, an arms dealer, under the condition of anonymity, told the outlet that he regularly purchases guns from the black market for resale, fetching as much as $800 for a pistol or revolver and charging as much as $2,500 for an AK-47.
A trip to a market in the dangerous capital city neighborhood of Tepito discovered that gun sellers were renting their weapons for at least $50 per day.
The readiness of illegal guns has spiraled Mexico’s homicide rate and gang violence.
As recently as last Thursday, Mexican authorities at a border crossing in Ciudad Juarez intercepted a 26-year-old American man, identified as Alonso, who was carrying three handguns.
Border cops also confiscated a large cache of weaponry accessories that consisted of 400 handgun cartridges.
At least 200,000 weapons that have reached the hands of criminals on a yearly basis, according to Mexican government data released this summer.
In addition, the Foreign Relations Ministry found that 70 percent of crimes that took place in Mexico were carried out with firearms that came from its northern neighbor.
Between 2012 and 2017, Mexican authorities confiscated and returned 98,654 fire weapons to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Half of the weapons were of the AK-47 and AR-15 variety.
Mexican border police in Ciudad Juarez captured an American man identified as Alonso who was attempting to smuggle three guns and an arsenal of firearm accessories last Thursday
The majority of the firearms were eventually traced back to gun shows and gun stores in the US.
Some 41 percent of the guns that made it into across the border passed through Texas. Stats also showed 19 percent of firearms where smuggled from California and an additional 15 percent came were transited from Arizona.
In mid-September, Foreign Relations Secretary Mauricio Ebrard called for the United States to do more to combat the smuggling of guns through the southern border.
‘The United States has to do a lot more,’ Ebrard countered after he shared how he was pressed by his American counterpart in regards to the flow of undocumented migrants into the U.S.
‘We told them, your topic is migration, ours is weapons and they have the same weight,’ Ebrard added.