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Latino Daily News

Wednesday June 15, 2011

Report States Many Guns Being Used in Mexico Drug War Came From U.S.

Report States Many Guns Being Used in Mexico Drug War Came From U.S.

Photo: Report: 70 percent of firearms seized by authorities in Mexico in 2009 and 2010, came from the U.S.

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According to data from the U.S. government, about 70 percent of firearms seized by authorities in Mexico in 2009 and 2010, came from the U.S.

The data was released in a report on Monday, and now three Democratic U.S. senators are calling for tougher firearms laws and regulations, as they believe stricter rules are necessary to relieve Mexico’s drug gangs of their weapons. These firearms have aided in the slaughter of more than 34,000 Mexicans since 2006.

“Congress has been virtually moribund while powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations continue to gain unfettered access to military-style firearms coming from the United States,” said California Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

ImageSen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) agreed with Feinstein saying, “This report confirms what many of us already know to be true. ... It is still too easy for Mexican drug lords to get their hands on deadly military-grade weapons within our borders. We need to redouble our efforts to keep violent firearms out of the hands of these traffickers.”

In 2004, an assault weapons ban expired, and the Feinstein, along with Schumer and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) want the ban reinstated and want a provision that would not allow private sellers at gun shows to sell weapons without first doing background checks.

As the three officials fight for the ban once again be in place, Mexican officials see the U.S.’s lax gun laws as part of their country’s problem.

In 2010, Mexican President Felipe Calderon told the U.S. Congress, “If you don’t regulate the sale of arms in the right way, nothing guarantees that the criminals won’t have access to these. There are more than 7,000 gun stores along the border with Mexico where anyone can buy. I ask Congress to help us and understand how important it is to have strong laws to avoid arming the criminals.”

The report states that of the 29,284 firearms recovered in 2009 and 2010 by Mexican authorities and sent to the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing, 15,131 were manufactured in the U.S., 5,373 were imported to U.S. from another country, and 8,780 are of unknown origin.