PRESS RELEASE: Iron River of U.S. Guns Fueling the Mexican Drug War

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Iron River of U.S. Guns Fueling the Mexican Drug War

Sen. De León’s Reso Promotes Greater Fed Enforcement

(Sacramento, CA) – Responding to the obscene flow of weapons thatimmigrate freely across the U.S. border to Mexico, Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) has introduced Senate Joint Resolution 10 (SJR 10) urging the President and the Congress of the United States to pursue a comprehensive approach to stem the trafficking of illicit United States firearms to Mexico.

“Lawlessness is rampant on our southern border and most people are not aware that the illegal trafficking of U.S. firearms is fueling the violence,” said Senator De León.  “I’ve introduced SJR 10 to push our Federal Government to halt the iron river of U.S. guns flowing illegally into Mexico. By doing so we can assure safety for the citizens of the United States and Mexico.”

An estimated 2,000 firearms are trafficked across the U.S. - Mexico border every day. This constant transportation of arms across our border fuels the power of the drug cartels, allowing them to terrorize the people of Mexico, obstruct the Mexican government and help fuel U.S. domestic drug trafficking.

SJR 10 urges a comprehensive approach to combating this epidemic that includes: the redirection of United States ATF, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection resources towards this effort; reenactment of a strong federal assault weapons ban, along with a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines; adoption of the ATF’s proposed rule to require the reporting of rifle, including assault rifle, purchases in southwestern border states; stronger federal authority to crack down on corrupt gun dealers; extending Brady criminal background checks to all gun sales, including all sales at gun shows to prevent firearms trafficking; and the maintenance of firearm purchase records to help law enforcement track down armed criminals and solve gun crimes.

California has already enacted many of these gun-control policies, including an assault weapons ban, high-capacity ammunition magazine ban, background checks for all gun sales (including those at gun shows), and the maintenance of handgun purchase records.  The lack of similar laws at the federal level and in other border states has contributed to the rise of firearms trafficking from the United States into Mexico.

Taking action to combat the trafficking of arms across the U.S. - Mexico border should be a priority to our federal government. As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Immigration and the Economy, Senator De León will use SJR 10 to bring attention to this growing issue as we begin to take critical steps towards stopping the violence in Mexico and towards preventing further violence in our own communities.