Aug 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Mexico to sue U.S. gun makers over flow of weapons into the country

A silhouette of a boy holding a rifle

A boy holds a rifle as the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC-PF) community police force teaches a group of children how to use weapons, in Guerrero State, Mexico. Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

The Mexican government said it plans to sue a number of U.S.-based gun makers, alleging that the makers' loose controls allow for the weapons to be illegally trafficked into Mexico, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Mexican officials believe the flow from the U.S. has helped contribute to the high rates of gun violence in parts of the country, per the Post.

  • The suit notes that American-made guns are more likely to be used to kill Mexican citizens than Americans.

Between the lines: The lawsuit, obtained by the Post, alleges gun makers know their weapons are trafficked into Mexico and "used in illicit activities against the civilian population," but that they continue to market them for their own economic benefit "without mechanisms of security or traceability."

The big picture: The lawsuit seeks an unspecified sum of money from the gun manufactures, as well as new security features on the weapons, tighter sales controls and new studies and media campaigns to combat arms trafficking.

  • The suit will be filed in Boston, where several of the gun makers are located. The companies targeted include Smith & Wesson Brands, Barrett Firearms, Beretta U.S.A. Corp, Glock Inc., and Colt’s Manufacturing.

Of note: Mexico has only one gun store and generally stricter gun laws than the U.S.

  • A study conducted last year by the Mexican government found that 2.5 million guns have flowed into the country from the U.S. over the past decade, the Washington Post reported at the time.
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