The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report recently entitled, “Firearms Trafficking: U.S. Efforts to Combat Arms Trafficking to Mexico Face Planning and Coordination Challenges.”
With regard to the '87%' statistic, the reports figures make clear that BATFE only traces a fraction of the guns seized, said the NRA. Those firearms are not selected randomly, but are likely selected because they are the guns most likely to have come from the U.S. Trace data reveals nothing about the large number of guns that are not traced.
The report also states “According to U.S. and Mexican government officials, these firearms have been increasingly more powerful and lethal in recent years. For example, many of these firearms are high-caliber and high-powered, such as AK and AR-15 type semiautomatic rifles.”
The report further states that, “The U.S. government faces several significant challenges in combating illicit sales of firearms in the United States and stemming their flow into Mexico.” These include “restrictions on collecting and reporting information on firearms purchases, a lack of required background checks for private firearms sales, and limitations on reporting requirements for multiple sales” and even the fact that the U.S. government is prohibited by law from maintaining a national registry of firearms.
Finally, the report noted that, “Another significant challenge facing U.S. efforts to assist Mexico is corruption among some Mexican government entities. Government officials acknowledge fully implementing these reforms will take considerable time, and may take years to affect comprehensive change.” And, “According to Mexican government officials, corruption pervades all levels of Mexican law enforcement – federal, state, and local. For example, some high ranking members of federal law enforcement have been implicated in corruption investigations, and some high publicity kidnapping and murder cases have involved corrupt federal law enforcement officials.”
Mexico has a huge problem with rampant corruption that clearly cannot be blamed on the U.S., said the NRA. At the same time, Mexico has extremely prohibitive gun laws, yet has far worse crime than the U.S.
More evidence of what is truly happening in Mexico was brought out in a series of hearings held earlier this year. During those hearings, three representatives of U.S. law enforcement, one each from BATFE, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), made it clear that the increase in violence in Mexico is being misinterpreted by the media and politicians, said the NRA.