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Mexico Sues US-Based Gun Manufacturers Over Cartel Violence

The country of Mexico is suing U.S.-based gun manufacturers, alleging the companies are actively facilitating gun trafficking to cartels south of the border.

In a 139-page complaint filed in federal court in Massachusetts, lawyers for the plaintiff said 70 to 90 percent of guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico were trafficked from the United States.

Many were manufactured by one of six companies, all of which were named in the suit, authorities said.

They are Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Century Arms, Colt, Glock, and Ruger.

“Defendants design, market, distribute, and sell guns in ways they know routinely arm the drug cartels in Mexico,” the suit charges. “Defendants use reckless and corrupt gun dealers and dangerous and illegal sales practices that the cartels rely on to get their guns. Defendants design these guns to be easily modified to fire automatically and to be readily transferable on the criminal market in Mexico. Defendants know how to make and sell their guns to prevent this illegal trade; the U.S. government and a U.S. court told them how. Defendants defy those recommendations, and many others, and instead choose to continue supplying the criminal gun market in Mexico— because they profit from it.”

The trafficking serves to undermine the “stringent laws” in Mexico that make it “virtually impossible” to obtain guns, with a single firearm store in the entire country, it also says.

Mexico is asking the court to require the manufacturers to remedy the nuisance they allegedly created there, fund studies focused on preventing gun trafficking, and award damages, among other requests.

Epoch Times Photo
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, flanked by Senator Ricardo Monreal (L) and lawmaker Ignacio Mier (R), both of the Morena ruling party, pose for a photo during a news conference to announce that Mexico sued several gun makers in a U.S. federal court, in Mexico City, Mexico on Aug. 4, 2021. (Luis Cortes/Reuters)

A Glock spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email that the company “will vigorously defend this baseless lawsuit.”

The other manufacturers did not respond to requests for comment.

The National Sports Shooting Foundation, the firearm industry’s trade group, described the allegations in the lawsuit as baseless.

“Mexico’s criminal activity is a direct result of the illicit drug trade, human trafficking and organized crime cartels that plague Mexico’s citizens. It is these cartels that criminally misuse firearms illegally imported into Mexico or stolen from the Mexican military and law enforcement,” Lawrence Keane, the foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

“Rather than seeking to scapegoat law-abiding American businesses, Mexican authorities must focus their efforts on bringing the cartels to justice. The Mexican government, which receives considerable aid from U.S. taxpayers, is solely responsible for enforcing its laws—including the country’s strict gun control laws—within their own borders,” he added.

Zachary Stieber

Zack Stieber covers the major news of the day. Previously, he worked as a New York City metro reporter.

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