HomeNewsBriefMexico to Ask US Senate to Create Gun Registry in Border States
BRIEF

Mexico to Ask US Senate to Create Gun Registry in Border States

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 10 JAN 2013 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Mexico's Congress voted to formally ask the United States Senate to create a registry of all commercialized firearms in the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Although the motion will have little impact in the US, it shows the gun control issue continues to resonate on both sides of the border. 

The measure was approved January 9 by Mexico's Permanent Commission, the government body that meets when the Senate and the lower house of Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, is in recess. 

The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) senator who introduced the proposal said it was intended to make it easier to trace guns used in violent attacks, reports Mexican newspaper Informador. Close to 60,000 people were killed during the six-year presidency of Felipe Calderon, who left office in December. 

The US Southwest is a significant source of weaponry for Mexico's criminal organizations, who typically purchase firearms from US gun stores via a middleman or "straw buyer." 

In one indication of the reach of these arms trafficking networks, a semi-automatic pistol recently found at the scene of one shootout in Mexico has been traced back to a former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent, as Minneapolis newspaper the Star Tribune reports. The semi-automatic was found at the scene of the shootout that killed a Mexican beauty queen.

The gun was traced back to an ATF agent who worked in Arizona and played a prominent role in the so-called "Fast and Furious" scandal, which charged the ATF had willingly allowed weapons to "walk" across the border in an attempt to prosecute the main purchasers of the guns in Mexico. The scheme failed to reach the high level targets, and some of the weapons were later used in attacks on US law enforcement prompting a congressional investigation and hearings. The ATF agent apparently sold the weapon online for $1,100 to a US citizen in Arizona. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The vote will likely prove to be a symbolic one. Gun laws in the US Southwest vary, with stricter controls enforced in California, compared to Arizona and Texas. It is unlikely that the US Senate will begin to pressure these areas to enforce more stringent controls anytime soon, although President Barack Obama has said that he is contemplating presidential decrees that would make it more difficult to obtain assault weapons nationwide. This threat follows the shooting deaths of 27 people, most of them children, in a Newtown, Connecticut school. 

The US is not the only illicit source of weaponry in Mexico. Guns stolen or illegally sold by the Mexican military, the owner of the only legal gun store in the country, are also thought to provide criminal groups with firepower. Some soldiers and police in Central America also illegally supply weapons to organized criminal groups throughout the region.

Still, the US is by far the largest supplier of weapons to Mexican criminal organizations, according to numerous ATF agents interviewed by InSight Crime.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 5 MAR 2018

A gun battle on the campus of Mexico’s largest university that left two dead underscores how the country’s continued…

MEXICO / 13 MAR 2013

Mexico City's government has launched a cell phone application allowing users to rapidly locate the nearest police in an emergency,…

MEXICO / 3 DEC 2010

A January 29, 2010, cable to Washington from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico to Washington released by WikiLeaks and revealed…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.