Is Changing Gun Laws in Mexico the Answer for Cartel Violence?

Gun Laws in Mexico

In Mexico, the Directorate of Arms and Munitions Sales is the only gun store in the entire country. The shop, however, is run by the Mexican military and only sells products such as 9mm handguns and semi-automatic rifles to police departments. Under gun laws in Mexico, citizens can only purchase firearms, such as deer rifles and small handguns, The Washington Post reported. One Mexican military veteran is trying to change all that.

Luis Merino, who now works as a private security consultant, has been leading a campaign for Mexico to loosen its gun laws with his Facebook group, Mexico Armado (Mexico Armed).

“I’ve tried to contact congressman, senators. They never responded,” Merino told The Washington Post. “At this moment there are few of us, but when we have built a movement and we have votes, they’re going to have to pay attention to us.”

While several liberal groups are pushing for more gun control in the U.S. in the wake of several mass-shooting tragedies, some of Mexico’s citizens are trying to arm themselves and lead vigilante militias against the nation’s drug cartels plaguing and exploiting towns like Michoacan.

In recent months, however, the government has attempted to contain the militias by organizing them into defense forces and offering one-time amnesty for their unregistered firearms, according to The Washington Post.

The push for looser gun laws has seen support from thousands of farmers and ranchers who have called for the legalization of AK-47s and AR-15s. The central government imposed tough restrictions on gun purchases in the late 1960s out of fear of uprising by leftists guerrillas.

Despite the U.S. and Mexico governments continuing to work together for economic purposes, the two country’s gun laws remain staunchly different. One Mexican official told The Washington Post, on condition of anonymity, that the Mexican government wants its guns laws to be the opposite of America’s.

“Just as politicians in the U.S. don’t want to talk about tightening gun restrictions, Mexican politicians wouldn’t propose weakening them,” the official said. “Our policy has essentially been defined in opposition to U.S. gun laws.”

Puerto Vallarta News

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