U.S. court records from southwestern states show that illegal gun traffickers involved in smuggling firearms to Mexico seek semiautomatic assault weapons, armor-piercing handguns, and 50 caliber anti-armor sniper rifles from U.S. gun shops, the Washington, D.C.-based Violence Policy Center said today. The center obtained records filed in 21 federal firearms smuggling prosecutions in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas between 2006 and 2009. “exican gun traffickers are seeking out military-style weapons easily obtained on the U.S. civilian gun market,” said the center’s Kristen Rand.
The group called on the Obama administration to use executive powers to enforce existing restrictions on the import of such non-sporting weapons more strictly and to seek reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban. The White House has said it is not pushing for the ban.