Washington, D.C. — Last month, the Mexican government filed a lawsuit against major U.S. arms manufacturers and distributors, suing the companies for damages caused by the illegal flow of guns into Mexico. A new column released today from the Center for American Progress illustrates the problem raised in the lawsuit and describes how domestic policy decisions—from removing the federal assault weapons ban to allowing gun purchases without a background check—can send dangerous ripple effects beyond our borders.
“While Mexico’s surge in gun violence over the past two decades can be traced to several internal factors—including corruption, the war on drugs, and legal impunity for those who commit a crime—it is clear that the flow of U.S. guns to the country is a major contributor,” says Eugenio Weigend Vargas, director for Gun Violence Prevention at CAP and co-author of the column.
Since 2009, nearly 70 percent of guns recovered at Mexican crimes scenes have originated in the United States, according to reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Government Accountability Office. The issue extends beyond Mexico as well: From 2014 to 2019, more than 15,000 U.S. firearms were recovered in Central American nations; more than 6,000 in Caribbean countries; and more than 11,000 in Canada. As the authors note, it is incumbent upon the United States to address the myriad ways its lax gun laws export violence abroad.
Please click here to read “A New Lawsuit Illustrates the Problem of U.S. Guns in Mexico.”
- “Beyond Our Borders: How Weak U.S. Gun Laws Contribute to Violent Crime Abroad” by Chelsea Parsons and Eugenio Weigend Vargas
- “Beyond Our Borders but Within Our Control: How U.S. Gun Policy Influences Violence in Mexico” by Eugenio Weigend Vargas and Rukmani Bhatia
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Tricia Woodcome at gro.ssergorpnacirema@emocdoowt.