06/14/11 – In the report entitled, “Halting U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico,” written by senators Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, and Sheldon Whitehouse to the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, it states that the United States provides the majority of weapons to drugtraffickers in Mexico. The Wilson Center stated that “the flow of firearms and ammunition to organized crime groups doesn’t cause violence, but it affects a group’s decision to attack a rival, increase the lethality of such an attack, it could result in the death of an innocent by-stander, or pose a serious challenge on the government’s ability to curb such extreme violence.” The report also indicates that 70% of the arms seized in Mexico are of U.S. origin.
The report goes on to make suggestions on how to deal with, curb, and stegthen U.S. laws and regulations towards firearm trafficking. Senator Feinstein states in the report that the U.S. Congress has basically stood by while powerful drug-trafficking organizations have access to military firearms from the U.S. without restriction. U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) states that of the “22,313 arms that were seized in Mexico about 10,945 were made in the United States, 3,268 were imported to the U.S., and the rest were unable to be identified for lack of information presented.” The report concludes that the U.S. must strengthen current firearm laws and regulations through five specific steps: “Enactment of legislation to close the gun show loophole; better enforcement of banned imported military-style arms; reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban; reporting of all Federal Firearms Licenses sales; and Senate ratification of the CIFTA (Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition,Explosives and Other Related Materials).”
To read the full report, click here.