Mexico’s Firearms Fiesta

You know that bumper stick “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns”? It’s clear what message the slogan’s supposed to convey: if you restrict citizens’ legal right to keep and bear arms they will be at the mercy of armed criminals. So don’t do it, mK? But there’s more to it than that. How about this: if the government outlaws gun ownership, legal gun owners become outlaws. With all the damage to the rule of law that criminalization creates. To wit: “In the black market, it’s very easy to acquire mostly American-made weapons here in our country,” embattled Mexican Alex LeBaron tells “But through the legal process it’s … very complex and expensive . . .

A citizen who wants a permit for a weapon must apply to the Mexican military — a process that can cost upward of $10,000. Then they pay to have the permit renewed annually. The military further regulates the caliber of weapon, how many guns a person can own, how much ammunition they can buy each month, and where in the country they can take the weapon.

The government abolished the last private gun store in 1995. Today, the only legal gun store in the country is in Mexico City, guarded and operated by the armed forces.

“In Mexico, the laws effectively don’t allow you to purchase weapons,” says Dr. Oscar Urrutia Beall, a longtime member of the Paquime Shooting Club. “There are some weapons they sell in Mexico City, but the paperwork is difficult. Here, they won’t let us buy a gun, but they let us own a gun. It’s an incongruity, a failed law.”

Now there’s one gun show loophole every freedom-loving American should support—especially when you read of the violence and terror that PSC members face in their day-to-day lives. And lets add John Burnett to the list of proto pro-gun patriots—even though the NPR correspondent couldn’t resist taking a sideways swipe at Mexico’s armed self-defenders.

If these three responses are any guide, the LeBarons’ crusade to revise gun laws is at odds with a certain cultural ambivalence toward firearms, at least among law-abiding Mexican citizens.

Alex LeBaron is undeterred. “I have to stress very strongly that if the federal government, the state government or the local government cannot protect you from the cartels or any criminal groups, we should be able to protect ourselves. That’s the bottom line,” he says.

Asked if the community is openly flouting federal gun laws, he replies: “Yes. We have to.”

The Mexican secretary of National Defense, charged with enforcing gun laws, declined to comment for this story.

The director of a pro-gun website called Mexico Armado said there is no popular movement at the moment to liberalize the nation’s gun laws. Perhaps, he added, that’s because anybody who wants a weapon in Mexico — be they a good guy or a bad guy — has no problem getting one.

Mañana. Meanwhile, it must be said: this is the most pro-gun rights piece I’ve ever seen/heard from the left-leaning taxpayer-funded media machine. NPR is to be commended for reporting the truth about guns (and those who would wield them for their own protection) in Mexico. Now if they could just apply these lessons to, say, Chicago . . .



  1. avatar Aaron says:

    There are still some very porous parts of the US-Mexican border. Not that hard to unintentionally drive off the perimeter of your ranch and end up in another country… where a rifle in the rack of your pickup or even a spent shell casing can mean prison time… in Mexico.
    Unfortunately, there are some US Citizens languishing there, simply for making a navigational error.

    1. avatar cz82mak says:

      Got the same problem when I drive into Massachusetts!

  2. avatar skslover says:

    does the pistol next to the ppk have taped mags?

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    I know what those guns are, but what’s that paper stuff underneath them?

    1. avatar Aaron says:

      I doubt it’s going to be shredded and stuffed into a bunch of pinatas… I’m guessing a LOT of Federales are going to be retiring a bit early this year.

    2. avatar Barstow Cowboy says:

      That paper stuff underneath? Those guns are being purchased legally, and that stuff underneath is just enough to pay for the weapons, the fees and the taxes, plus a little surplus ammo.

  4. avatar waif says:

    I read the article on Not Particularly Relevant. The article claims that in the US, one can buy an assault rifle as easily as buying a beer. The willful ignorance of those guys over at National Palestinian Radio regarding firearms never fails to astound; in this case, the supposed equivalence of effort between buying a rifle and alcohol, plus the fact that the journalist surely meant a semi-auto rifle rather than a selective-fire one.

  5. avatar Ropingdown says:

    NPR-types will eventually connect the dots. Once rampant violence is loosed via black markets in drugs or vast economic dislocation, it creates violent people. “War creates warriors.” A culture of predation is created. Effective self-defense takes the profit out of that eventually, and people wise up and get honest white-collar jobs where the only predation is over-billing…lots of it.

  6. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    All the guns in criminal hands today, were in the hands of guys just like you yesterday.

    Do you see the connection and the problem?

    1. avatar Matt Gregg says:

      If You are talking about Mexico Mike then you are about as wrong as can be. Just take a look at the pictures of all the guns recovered from the cartels. I saw grenade launchers, full auto M16’s, SAW’s, etc. none of those came from American citizens.

      And the guns that did come from America were probably escorted through border security by the good people from the ATF.

      1. avatar Tom says:

        Yeah, the guns in the photo above do not look very readily accessible from the local gun store.

      2. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        Actually I wasn’t talking about Mexico. I was talking about the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

    2. avatar TTACer says:

      You’re not very good with numbers, are you?

    3. avatar Steve says:

      Mike, do you not see the problem when you have a society where criminals have no problem obtaining weapons but normal people are prohibited from defending themselves?

      Have you ever had to live in fear? Put yourself in their shoes. Everywhere you look, criminals have free reign because the cops are either bought or scared. The criminals have the guns and they can do whatever they want…the cops wont go after them because they want to go home to their family. You have nothing because of federal law that prohibits you from defending yourself or your family.

      The Cartels know that they cannot operate in the same way here in the US because people here will shoot back. Imagine if they tried their same tactics here in the US. Going around in the night snatching people and kidnapping them. Sometimes it would work for them, but sometimes when they tried to walk into someone’s house and kidnap-murder-intimidate, they would walk into a hail of gunfire. That sort of thing is bad for business.

      Dont get me wrong, we have drug cartels here, but they know better than to try that shit so blatantly here.

      In the case of Mexico, people like you make lots of noise about the traffic of guns from the US to Mexican criminals, but the fact is that if you were somehow able to wave a magic wand and make that all stop, there would still be many other sources of illegal weapons in Mexico (not the least of which is corrupt/intimidated people within the Mexican Army and gov’t). The Cartels have the money to make certain that they will Always have their weapons. That is the way the world works. You may not like it, but we must take the world as it is, not as we want it to be.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Have you ever had to live in fear?

        If fear is a little village just outside of Rome, then yes. Yes he does.

    4. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      “All the guns in criminal hands today, were in the hands of guys just like you yesterday.”
      Gosh, if only we could make theft illegal. Oh, wait…

      1. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

        It’s not only theft, which could be largely prevented with proper home storage requirements, but it’s mainly straw purchasing. This could be completely eradicated, if only your side would cooperate. But you won’t, your side including the NRA and the gun manufacturers don’t want it eradicated. It’s good for business.

        The other source is, of course, the non-background check transfers. We could fix that too, but you won’t hear of it will ya?

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          Isn’t it already illegal for a felon to be in possession of a firearm? Isn’t it already illegal to transfer a firearm to a felon?

        2. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Yes, Moon, it is already illegal, but those laws are too easily circumvented. That’s why we need stricter controls.

        3. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          So if I understand you correctly, the solution to legislation being ignored is more legislation?

        4. avatar GS650G says:

          I agree, Mike, tougher jails and no parole.
          Oh wait, you weren’t talking about THOSE controls, were you?

        5. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

          Actually I agree with that. But, what you try to do is act like it’s either/or. We can support tougher sentencing for violent criminals and stricter gun control so their buddies on the outside can’t get guns so easily.

        6. avatar Steve says:

          “It’s not only theft, which could be largely prevented with proper home storage requirements, but it’s mainly straw purchasing. This could be completely eradicated, if only your side would cooperate. But you won’t, your side including the NRA and the gun manufacturers don’t want it eradicated. It’s good for business.The other source is, of course, the non-background check transfers. We could fix that too, but you won’t hear of it will ya?

          So how would you implement and enforce some of these ideas?Do you have police visit all 80+ million homes in the United States that have firearms in them to ensure that your idea of “safe storage” is being adhered to? How do you square that with the Constitutional prohibition on “unreasonable search and seizure”….because having the Police barge into your home – when you havent commited a crime and they have no warrant – is certainly an “unreasonable search.Background checks on all purchases even private transfers? How do you enforce such a thing? Do you require me to run a background check on my son when he gets to age ten and I buy a .22 rifle for him to learn with? Is that a “straw purchase”. How many police hours would you decide are worth it to process the sum total of the paperwork needed to support such an effort.You say that straw purchases could be “completely eradicated”…oh really? how? The usual schemes (registration) put forth are so full of holes as to be absolutely useless.These things have all been tried. Canada is in the process of getting rid of a long gun registry that has been essentially useless in preventing or processing crime.

        7. avatar Tom says:

          It’s not only theft, which could be largely prevented with proper home storage requirements, but it’s mainly straw purchasing. The other source is, of course, the non-background check transfers. We could fix that too, but you won’t hear of it will ya?

          Guns are stolen from homes, but not enough to supply even our criminal population. I still say the cops furnish “their boys” with confiscated guns.
          Our military and federal agencies supply Mexico with many more weapons than the privates sector could ever dream of.
          FTF sales are usually rather limited, most gun show sales are really FFL. Sellers can really get burned on FTF.
          Straw purchases are a possiblity, but this gets back to the feds not enforcing immigration laws.

    5. avatar GS650G says:

      Including the law breaking government types?

  7. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Well, let’s not be too hasty in applauding NPR here. The piece includes this outlandish bit of twaddle: ” …in the U.S., where buying an assault rifle can be as easy as buying a beer…” which displays either a fantastic ignorance of how long it takes to fill out a 4473, or a wish that purchasing beer were as difficult and fraught with indecision as choosing between the wide variety of white wines to go with their runny cheeses and goose liver pate’.

    One has to wonder whether any of these idiots writing this drivel have ever actually purchased a firearm…

    1. avatar Steve says:

      Actually one does not have to wonder if anyone at NPR has ever bought a gun. I would be flabbergasted if any of them had ever purchased a gun. I doubt many of them have ever even shot one.

      BTW, I think white wine, fancy cheese and goose liver pate sounds like a great combo! In fact I might bring that combo to hunting camp next season.

    2. avatar MadDawg J says:

      They haven’t even ever bought a beer let alone a gun.

  8. avatar GS650G says:

    It’s far easier to buy a beer in most places than a gun. DC for example.

  9. avatar NeonCat says:

    If marriage is outlawed, only outlaws will have in-laws.

  10. avatar Sod says:

    It is 2017 and I have yet to hear any news about this matter from mister LeBaron.

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