I watched an article on Fox last night with details on a couple of gun trafficking busts on the Mexican border. Greta Van Susteren interviewed some ATF agents, who showed her the items picked up in two busts. These guns and ammo were interdicted in the process of being smuggled into Mexico. Clearly, some guns and ammo are going into Mexico from the United States. Another source puts the amount coming from the U.S. as about 17% of the total number of guns confiscated by authorities in Mexico.
There are at least a few interesting points to make that weren’t really emphasized in the article.
- Most or all of the weapons were fully automatic. Fully automatic weapons are NOT available to the general public in the United States. At least, not without a special license – I’m not familiar with the details.
- There was a lot of ammo (24,000 rounds) purchased in one lot from one local gun dealer – legally – but it was unusual, so he called the ATF and was to that extent responsible for the gun bust.
- There was some belt-fed .50 cal ammo – for a fully automatic machine gun that they didn’t have. That machine gun, being belt fed, would be the kind you see mounted on tanks and armored vehicles. Not available at your local gun shop.
- They had a .50 cal Barrett magazine-fed semi-auto weapon which is legal to own by civilians in the U.S. I’ve seen one just like it in the local Gander Mountain – cost about $5500. This was the only weapon shown that I am certain was not fully automatic.
- I am fairly sure that I saw grenades on the table – obviously, not for sale to civilians in the U.S.
- The officer stated that all of the fully automatic weapons “are coming from Central America“.
Now this is kind of interesting. Apparently, at least the automatic weapons originated in Central America, and were on their way to Mexico – by way of the United States. It seems that at least this one smuggling route passes through the United States. It was not made clear how the weapons got to Central America or where they came from before that.
The points I’d like to make:
The weapons shown were military-grade and apparently almost all were fully automatic. The great majority of the weapons shown would not normally be available at any gun dealer in the U.S.
There are already laws against smuggling.
Passing any sort of ‘assault rifle ban’ in the United States would have ZERO effect on this smuggling, because the guns being smuggled are generally fully automatic – based on the content of this one video. Any ban in the U.S. would only ban semi-automatic weapons, which are of little interest to the drug cartel.
Note to the uninformed; frequently, the news media will refer to any magazine-fed pistol or rifle as an ‘automatic’. This can be misleading if you don’t make the distinction between semi-automatic and fully automatic. Semi-automatic weapons are legal in the U.S. – you have to pull the trigger once to shoot one round. Fully-automatic weapons are not legal in the U.S. unless you get a special license, and they are not readily available to the general public. The weapons that Greta shot in the video were all fully automatic.