Crimes in Mexico With American Guns

Richard Esposito of ABC News has written an article detailing the contents of an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms report that shows that three out of four guns used in Mexican violence come from the United States.

The article entitled Mexican Crime, American Guns shows that rising violence in Mexico can be partly attributed to American appetites for Drugs and Guns.

The study, based on Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) data and prepared by the advocacy group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, shows that three out of four guns used in crimes in Mexico and submitted for tracing were sold in the four U.S. states that border Mexico.

The numbers bolster complaints by Mexican officials that the country's unprecedented bloodshed – 28,000 people have died in drug-cartel violence since 2006 – is being fueled both by the U.S. appetite for drugs, and by American weapons.

The ATF report which spans the time from 2006 - 2009 shows that:

19,000 guns used in crimes in Mexico were traced to an original sale at a US gun dealer, and the bulk of the guns came from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Texas supplied four in ten of those weapons, and the other three border states provided an additional one third. Mexican law places stringent restrictions on gun purchase and ownership, though it does permit ownership of shotguns and pistols.

The ATF Report also shows:

The numbers showed that Arizona, Texas and New Mexico had an export rate 169 percent greater than any other states, which the authors suggest may be due in part to less-restrictive gun laws in those states. The top ten source states for supplying crime guns to Mexico in 2009 were Texas (2076 guns), California (1011), Arizona (690), New Mexico (173), Florida (113), Colorado (100, Oklahoma (90), Illinois (84), Nevada (56), and North Carolina (56). In total, the top ten supplier states contributed more than 4,449 guns, or about 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico that were originally sold in the US.

Former President of Mexico Vincente Fox had some interesting observations on the report:

"What is happening is that this huge market of the United States in drug consumption, the largest in the world, is generating the weapons that are sold to Mexican cartels, and is generating the money that is laundered in the United States and brought to Mexico," Fox said.


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