The idea that the carnage in Mexico is at least partially linked to that country’s gun control laws never occurred to me. Until I read this at cnjonline.com: “Another factor, many argue, are strong anti-gun laws that have left law-abiding Mexicans largely unable to defend themselves. With little opposition from the citizenry and a military that at times has been overmatched, the drug runners have been able to operate with relative impunity.” So what are Mexico’s gun control laws, then? davekopel.com has this to say about that . . .
Notwithstanding their constitutional right, arms possession in Mexico is severely restricted by a wide network of laws. Article 160 of the Federal Penal Code authorizes government employees to carry guns. Article 161 requires a license to carry or sell handguns. Article 162 provides penalties for violations, and also bans the stockpiling of arms without permission. Article 163 states that handguns may only be sold by mercantile establishments, not by individuals. Further, handgun carry permit applicants must post a bond, must prove their need, and must supply five character references.
The most important gun laws are contained in the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives. It establishes a Federal Arms Registry controlled by the Ministry of National Defense. Both the federal and state governments are required to conduct public information campaigns to discourage all forms of weapons ownership and carrying . . .
Title Two of the Federal Law of Firearms allows possession and carrying of handguns in a calibers of .380 or less, although some calibers are excluded, most notably .357 magnum and 9mm parabellum.
According to USA Today, there are “reams of rules: how much ammunition they can buy each month; where they can take the gun; who [sic] they can sell it to.” Also worth noting: Mexico’s private citizens can only purchase weapons from the Defense Ministry; the government shuttered all of the country’s privately owned firearms stores. Today, there’s only one gun store in Mexico City, a conurbation of 21.2 million or so souls.
Check this: Mexican gun control advocates see the country’s descent into lawlessness as proof that the U.S. needs gun control laws as strict as theirs—not that Mexico needs to let its citizenry arm itself.
“If the United States had a system like ours, we wouldn’t have so many problems here in Mexico,” Agustin Villordo, 27, of Puebla said as he shopped for a hunting rifle . . .
“I would dare say that Mexico has some of the strictest regulations about gun ownership in all the world, and we’re right next to a country … that has some of the easiest ones,” said Lt. Col. Raúl Manzano Vélez, director of the military’s civilian gun sales. “That creates a huge vacuum between the countries and feeds weapons trafficking.”
It’s a view sure to be echoed by American gun control campaigners.