Remember those reports I scoffed at about guns being purchased in the US and smuggled into Mexico? It appears that I was at least half-wrong; guns are being bought in the US and smuggled into Mexico, so I was wrong about that. What I was right about was the guns were not being purchased legally or at gun shows. That second link in the post is to the CNN article on the case, which displays both a remarkable amount of bias and not very much information. For example, it makes sure to refer the FN Five-seveN as firing “cop killer” bullets, complete with a BATFE agent sounding like he’s reading from a Brady press release.
“What’s interesting about this gun, why it’s in high demand, is the nickname that it has in Mexico,” said William Newell, ATF special agent in charge, about the Fabrique National pistol. “It’s called ‘mata policias,’ or ‘cop killer.’ “
Earlier in the article, CNN also gets in the required dig at gun shops and gun shows, implying that US business are supplying the Mexican cartels.
Guns are difficult to buy legally in Mexico, but can be obtained just north of the border at gun shows and gun shops.
Now, if you just read the CNN article, based on those two excerpts, you’d probably think that Victor Varela (the smuggler) bought his guns legally and ran them into Mexico, right? Well, CNN managed to completely neglect that salient point, which I found at the website for a local news station:
Tom Mangan, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Varela’s network illegally bought the firearms in Arizona, transported them to New Mexico and then took them across the border.
And a little more digging produces a little more information which CNN left out, this time from Reuters:
ATF said Varela acquired a number of firearms, including handguns and several .50 caliber “Barrett” rifles, through illegal third-party sales called “straw purchases.”
Which, as we know are already illegal. Of course, CNN “omitting” that this guy didn’t buy his guns from gun shops and gun shows isn’t really surprising, it’s pretty much par for the course these days.
Of course, the predictable result of this arrest will be crowing from the Brady Bunch and the VPC about how eeeeeeevil .50 BMG rifles are and how we need to close the “gun show loophole”; completely omitting that 1) this guy was caught, and 2) he didn’t buy his guns at a gun show. A review of the facts would show that it’s already illegal to smuggle guns into Mexico, and it’s also illegal to purchase guns via a “straw purchase”, both of which this guy did. But the VPC and Brady Bunch will insist that just one more law would have been the magic law that stopped this guy from committing his crime.
This guy was breaking loads of federal and local laws already, only a complete fool would think that one more law would have made a difference. As it is, what made a difference was diligent efforts from local law enforcement agents to investigate and enforce the laws on the books. More laws aren’t going to solve the problem – going after scumbags who scoff at our laws is going to have an effect on crime.