An article in Rolling Stone magazine on 7th August says that selling weapons south of the border is big business — and America’s loose gun laws are also devastating for Mexico. The guns include the terrifying “Minigun” – a machine gun that was used by US gunship aircraft against the Viet Cong. The article goes on to says that, though it gets far less attention than undocumented immigration or drug smuggling, running guns to Mexico is big business, a southbound black market worth hundreds of millions of dollars. According to the best estimates, gunrunners move 700 to 800 guns into Mexico every day — about a quarter-million guns every year. Most gunrunners are US citizens, and in America there is no comprehensive federal law against firearms trafficking, making investigations difficult and the penalties relatively light, especially compared with smuggling drugs. Surprisingly, until relatively recently, Mexico had one of the lowest rates of gun ownership in the world – very few firearms are manufactured in Mexico, and in general private citizens aren’t allowed to possess them. The guns come from the US. The article says that the black market has an outsize impact on the southern border, where gun stores are concentrated. A 2013 University of San Diego study found that nearly half of all gun stores in the US would go out of business were it not for the sales boost provided by the carnage in Mexico.
There is also a 46-minute audio podcast available.
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