Seventy Percent of Guns Used in Mexican Crimes Traced Back to United States
As Sheriff Joe Arpaio brags for arresting six immigrants heading for the southeastern United States, a group of United States Senators is releasing a report noting that 70 percent of captured guns used by drug cartels in Mexico originated in the United States.
One of these smuggling problems is worse than the other.
According to CNN, more than 70 percent of 29,284 firearms submitted to the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for tracing by the Mexican government during 2009 and 2010 originated in the United States.
Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein of California and Charles Schumer of New York are calling for the reinstatement of the Assault Weapons Ban, passed in 2004, as well as the introduction of background checks at private gun shows to prevent this from occurring.
Last month, a Phoenix-based ATFE Agent told CBS News he was ordered to allow guns purchased by drug cartels in Arizona to make their way back to Mexico in an effort to track them.
The guns eventually showed up at crime scenes across Mexico.
Of course, the federal government denies the claim, and apologists for the gun industry claim the Mexican government only supplies ATFE with guns it has reason to believe were from the United States.
But that does not erase the fact that the drug cartels -- perhaps the same ones that infiltrated Sheriff Joe's office -- are buying guns in America and then taking them across the border to Mexico, where they are engaging in unspeakable levels of violence.
More than 30,000 people have been reported murdered in Mexico's drug war.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.