Mexican drug cartels use illegal weapons often gotten from governments.
(Photo by iStock)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) vocally objected to the recent Mexico gun lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court. It alleges firearms sold at retail in the United States form the spark that ignited the seemingly endless explosion of Mexican drug violence. The NSSF countered, saying “allegations of wholesale cross-border gun trafficking are patently and demonstrably false.”

NSSF Objects to Mexico Gun Lawsuit

“These allegations are baseless. The Mexican government is responsible for the rampant crime and corruption within their own borders,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Mexico’s criminal activity is a direct result of the illicit drug trade, human trafficking and organized crime cartels that plague Mexico’s citizens. It is these cartels that criminally misuse firearms illegally imported into Mexico or stolen from the Mexican military and law enforcement. Rather than seeking to scapegoat law-abiding American businesses, Mexican authorities must focus their efforts on bringing the cartels to justice. The Mexican government, which receives considerable aid from U.S. taxpayers, is solely responsible for enforcing its laws – including the country’s strict gun control laws – within their own borders.

“The American people through their elected officials decide the laws governing the lawful commerce in firearms in our country,” Keane added. “This lawsuit filed by an American gun control group representing Mexico is an affront to U.S. sovereignty and a threat to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms. A right denied to the Mexican people who are unable to defend themselves from the cartels.”

Data indicates U.S. sourced gun represent less than 12-percent of the gun seized in Mexico in 2008. That year saw approximately 30,000 firearms overall seized from Mexican criminals. Data on only 7,200, or 24 percent, went to the ATF for tracing, according to NSSF.

Cherry-Picked Data

Based on serial numbers, the 7,200 submitted represented the only guns likely to have come from the U.S. The ATF ended up tracing around 4,000 (13 percent) of those firearms. The finally tally of 3,480 from the U.S. represented 12-percent. In any light, the numbers do not represent the often-used mythical number of “90-percent” come from the U.S. Meanwhile, the selections happen based on known factors of where the guns come from.

The 12-percent figure even represents more flaws in the data. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Mexico Institute) stated the ATF traced some individual serial numbers up to five times each. Even the ATF admitted more than 20 percent of the firearms constituted tracing duplicates, reported NSSF. So data riddled with errors forms much of the basis for Mexico’s ridiculous lawsuit against U.S. firearm manufacturers. Finally, some guns firearms recorded purchase histories up to 14 years old. Sounds like a long, slow trickle, not exactly a flood. Now you know.

Finally, we all know the U.S. government also sells directly to the Mexican government. Meanwhile, Mexican soldiers switch sides, working for drug cartels. But they take their American-made service rifles with them. We’re talking up to 150,000 such defections in recent years. That’s a lot of American-issued Eugene Stoner goodness heading to the hands of the enemy.

Even still, the NSSF reported that U.S. State Department cables claim most cartel weapons come from Central American arsenals. Even China actively arms Latin American countries, according to Amnesty International. Seems like a whole bunch of foreign governments, including our own, provide most of the arms ultimately fueling the Mexican drug cartel violence.

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