LA TIMES: More Can Be Done To Curb American Guns Going Across Border

NDN has written about how the increase in violence on the Mexican side of the border has correlated directly to the increase in the flow of American guns across said border.

The Los Angeles Times recently wrote an editorial that contextualizes just how impactful the flow of guns into Mexico is in the Drug war that is enveloping that country. The editorial correctly points out that Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the western hemisphere and their is no reason that the United States not require stricter restrictions on border state gun dealers who sell more then three high powered assault rifles:

“Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the hemisphere. Citizens are permitted to buy low-caliber firearms for self-protection or hunting, but only after a background check and approval by the defense ministry; they must also purchase the guns directly from the ministry. The goal of this parsimonious approach to allotting firearms is a society free from gun violence. Unfortunately for Mexico, however, its weapons management strategy is sabotaged by an accident of location — its residence next door to the gun capital of the world.”

The conceptualization of the United States as the gun capitol of the world is an important one when contextualizing just how relatively easy it is to get guns here as opposed to the difficulty Latin American countries face in their states:

“The United States is awash in guns. Americans own an estimated 283 million guns, and 4.5 million new ones, including 2 million handguns, are sold each year, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Nor are these weapons confined to U.S. borders and households. Officials say that they are pouring south into Mexico, into the hands of violent drug cartels.”

According to the editorial the ATF has asked President Obama for permission to require states along the border to require gun dealerships to report purchases of multiple high powered rifles.

This is a pretty common sense approach to limiting the flow of guns across the border or at the very least tracking the movement of guns from the United States to DRUG DEALERS…. This is the sort of practical application of federal and state laws that people concerned about border security should advocate for, or as the editorial puts in starker terms.

“The regulation would not prohibit sales, purchases or ownership. Also, tracing is conducted only after a crime has been committed, not before. One objection that cannot be dismissed is that the new rule would create more paperwork for some border-adjacent gun retailers. No business likes new red tape from Washington, but with the national security of two countries involved, the trade-off is worth the inconvenience.”