Gun Smuggling on the Border

By Sarah Perret – Migration Intern
February 15, 2012

The serious problem of gun smuggling from the United States to Mexico has taken a turn in a positive direction.  A recent ruling states that arms dealers in the Southwest United States must notify the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives when someone buys multiple assault rifles within a week’s time.  Such rifles are common in the drug wars in Mexico and officials are hoping that this new regulation will prevent these weapons from being traded into the hands of criminals and into Mexico.  The final ruling came from Judge Rosemary Collyer who stated that “certain powerful long guns are weapons of choice of Mexican drug cartels” and “multiple sales of such guns is a strong indicator of gun trafficking.” (1)

The overall death toll from the Mexican drug wars over the past five years is an estimated 50,000 people.  As long as gun smuggling continues, this number will continue to rise.  It is a difficult task to control guns, but one thing we can do is raise awareness of the destruction this trafficking brings to Mexico.

An exhibition at the Museo Memoria y Tolerancia located in Plaza Juarez called “A Farewell to Arms: Smuggling on the Borders” aims to raise awareness of the grave situation and send a powerful message to join the peace movement through a new medium, art. More information about the exhibit is available here (in Spanish).

If you have not yet signed the petition, see our action alert