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The Government Accounting Office (GAO) recently released a report on guns confiscated by the Mexican police and military, submitted to the ATF for tracing. As RF reported, the document is deeply flawed — by the government’s own admission. For one thing, the GAO report was careful to mention they have no idea of the total number of guns seized by the Mexican government over the time period covered (2009-2014). Also obvious by its absence: a range of data that the ATF must have recorded to run their trace . . .

When were the guns manufactured?

What caliber chambering?

Which manufacturers and models?

In all, the ATF traced 73,684 guns (out of an unknown total universe). That’s a large enough sample to generate some important statistical data — which the ATF used to provide, but no longer does.

For example, the mainstream media is using this report to justify separate ATF reporting requirements for multiple long gun sales in border states, and generally vilify “assault weapons” (e.g.,‘s Why Mexico’s drug cartels love America’s gun laws). It would be helpful to know how many AR-15’s or AK’s were in the sample.

All the ATF told us: 61 percent of the guns traced were handguns, and 39 percent were long guns. In my experience in Panama, the single shot shotgun is the most common gun available in rural areas. It’s sturdy, reliable, sufficiently powerful for most game, does not require precise aiming, and is, most importantly, cheap.

If you look at the picture of the autodefensas above, notice that most of the guns being held are single shot shotguns. I see at least three, probably four, .22 rimfire rifles and one double barrel shotgun. One man in front has a revolver tucked in his waistband. A 12-gauge break open shotgun can be made to fire 16-gauge and even 20 -gauge shells, in a pinch, with some windings of tape to make them chamber without bursting. (Do not try this at home!)

In the old Soviet Union, people tried to determine what was happening by analyzing what was not being said or printed. If we were allowed to look inside the ATF trace numbers, I suspect we would find a lot of old .22 rifles and shotguns.

Pistols are hard to come by in Mexico, yet they accounted for 61 percent of the gun submitted for trace by the Mexican government. I suspect that most of the handguns are old .22s or revolvers. Because of Mexico’s ban on certain military calibers, there may be an over representation of less common calibers, such as 9mm Largo. (Spanish Star pistols in 9mm Largo were popular in Yuma when they came on the surplus market a decade and more ago.)

President Barack Obama declared that he’d make his administration the most transparent in history. The ATF’s politicized report on the guns submitted by Mexico to the ATF for trace is yet another example that puts paid to that promise.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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  1. I get the sense that with the people we call “leaders” soon there will be a political firestorm about gravity being racist.

    • Call them “leaders” only if it ever applies.

      They are, regardless, our a-hole neighbors who needed a job (never achieving a higher status than their original status as a bona-fide citizen, if the term applies), and that is irrespective of our combined need to have certain chores done for us.
      We don’t need to be “led”, we elect representatives to tell other’s elected reps that we don’t need for them to lead us either.

      • “We don’t need to be “led”, we elect representatives to tell other’s elected reps that we don’t need for them to lead us either.”

        Salient point and perhaps to expand the thought. The last thing Americans need is a candidate relaying what their values should be.

  2. The revolver in the leader’s waistband is a semi auto. Hard to tell the exact model, but it has a combloc look, maybe a Tokarev.

    • It is indeed a semi, but its a Beretta M9 (or an airsoft/BB/pellet equivalent). I took it into photoshop and I can just make out the glint from the two large screws on the handle (that always rub shiny smooth). You can make out the curved scoop of the frame and slide just at the business end of the barrel, as well as separate specular highlights for the barrel, the top edge of the open cut slide, the serrations and the extractor. And probably most prominently the highlight coming off the 45 degree inset cut at the top and back of the handle scale.
      See my blow up here:

  3. Of course. Governments wants to keep us from realizing that the greatest murderer of rhe people and the greatest threat to our freedoms is the government.

    Always has been, always will be.

    • There is a fairly simple explanation for that …

      The vast majority of people don’t really care much about anything or anyone beyond themselves, their immediate family, and how to eat and have a little fun tomorrow. That is all that they are concerned about and where they apply all of their efforts.

      Unfortunately, that lifestyle fails to account for monsters who endeavor to exploit all those “little people” who are totally absorbed in their own little worlds. And that leaves an opening for said monsters to rise to power — typically unopposed. (Nature abhors a vacuum and all that.) Once those monsters have consolidated their power, all those “little people” have very little ability or will to resist. At that point those monsters in power steamroll the “little people” with impunity.

      Of course we typically know those “monsters” who endeavor to exploit the people as government. Acting under the alleged auspices of “government” is simply a utilitarian measure to impress a sense of righteousness or legitimacy to their actions on the “little people”. And yet it is a powerful utilitarian measure: look at all the people around the world who support their “government”.

      Needless to say, governments are thus in a unique position to carry out horrendous deeds on the “little people” … quite often with the support of many of the “little people” themselves.

      • Agreed. We are expendable while they are not. That is why they want to take our guns and it is always better for them when they hide the truth from us.

        This happens in Russia. This happens in China. This is happening in the United States.

  4. When were the guns manufactured?

    What caliber chambering?

    Which manufacturers and models?

    they left out two important questions,were any of the confiscated sold to them by eric holder and what drug cartels did the mexican government sell the guns to after they confiscated them.

  5. It only just now struck me how completely outgunned and outclassed the autodefensas are on all sides. Yet they took up arms anyway. That’s heavy. Inspiring, though.

    • PeterK,

      You are correct. Being outgunned and outclassed, I am not sure what the best course of action is for the good people of Mexico. Banzai charges will certainly not accomplish anything. (A few Autodefensas with single-shot shotguns going against 20 guys with AK-47s is more-or-less a banzai charge in my book.) Then again, maybe going against 20 guys is worthwhile if your tactics enable you to kill at least 3 of them.

      That last comment/tactic is a a war of attrition strategy … which really sucks when your side is losing five people for every one of their people. On the other hand, what other options do the good people of Mexico have? Furthermore, it won’t take very long before the 20 goons with AK-47s start getting cold feet when they KNOW that 3 of them will not be returning from each attack. That initial 20 goons becomes 17 goons after the first attack, then just 14 goons after the second attack, and of course only 11 goons after the third attack. Meanwhile, the good people of Mexico are fighting for their very existence and they outnumber the goons 100 to 1. Which side do you think is going to have a greater incentive to keep fighting? Sad as it is to say, it worked for Russia in World War II. Mexico may be facing a similar fate.

  6. Just speculation, but here’s the breakdown I’d expect to find;

    Total firearms: 73,684
    total pistols: 44,947
    total long guns: 28,737
    total near mint AR rifles given to the Mexican police and military and subsequently sold to the cartels: 150
    total single shot shotguns and .22 rifles taken from the autodefensas: 28,587
    total Gen4 Glocks given to the Mexican police and military and subsequently sold to the cartels: 25
    total antique .22LR revolvers taken from the autodefensas: 44,922

  7. I’d venture it’s probably a close distribution to what ends up at turn ins. Mostly cheap 22s and single shot 12s a small pile of cheap pistols in old calibers 32, 22short, and 38-200. Maybe a few old deer guns and an sks or similar

  8. I wonder how many of the U.S. made weapons came from El Salvador, Nicaragua, or even Columbia from U.S. Government sales to the Contras, the El Salvadoran Government, and the Columbian Government.

  9. I guarantee something in the report that the ATF will have to be drug out them. The number of M16/M4s sold to the Mexican government which where then promptly resold to the cartels by corrupt officials.

  10. So the Mexican Police and Military spend their time taking .22s and single shot cheap shotguns from poor farmers, rather than defend them from Narco-terrorists armed with ARs, RPGs and anti-aircraft missiles.

    The Federales are still looking for those 40+ students kidnapped, shot, and buried in the desert for daring to protest government corruption with the drug dealers…

    Want to see what California will look like in another decade of Democrat Gun Grabber rule?

    Just look south.


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