American Rifleman - July 2011 - 70

Official Journal

inside nra

ILA report: Latest legislative news from inside the NRA Institute for Legislative Action

Mexico:

When In Doubt, Blame The U.S.

I

Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005. The law protects
firearm manufacturers, dealers and importers from suits
brought about as a result of "the harm solely caused by the
criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as
designed and intended." The outlook for a Mexican government suit looks dim; since the PLCAA was signed into law
by President George W. Bush on Oct. 26, 2005,
no federal court has allowed such a suit by a
government plaintiff to go forward against a
U.S. firearm manufacturer.
Unfortunately for the Mexican government,
the possible lawsuit has come to light at the
same time as diplomatic cables newly made
available on the Wikileaks website, which have
shown that drug cartels obtain much of their
weaponry from Central American arsenals.
One such cable, recently publicized by
Mexico City newspaper La Jornada, addresses
a frequently heard claim about the origin of
guns used in Mexico's crime wave. The cable's
author writes, "Claims by Mexican and
U.S. officials that upwards of 90 percent of
illegal recovered weapons can be traced back
to the U.S. is based on an incomplete survey
of confiscated weapons. In point of fact,
without wider access to the weapons seized
in Mexico, we really have no way of verifying
these numbers."
Another cable publicized by La Jornada
revealed that 90 percent of the drug cartels'
"heavy armament," such as grenades and
rocket launchers, originates in Central
America and enters Mexico through its
southern border with Guatemala. Bolstering
these claims, IHS Global Insight reported on
Anti-drug agents in Guatemala transport boxes containing $14 million found after
receiving a tip about a drug trafficker and weapons. Mexico City's La Jornada newsApril 6 that the head of U.S. Southern
paper reported that a recently uncovered diplomatic cable notes that 90 percent of
Command, Gen. Douglas Fraser, testified
Mexican drug cartels' "heavy armament" originates in Central America and enters
before the Senate that more than 50 percent
Mexico via its southern border with Guatemala.
of the military-grade weapons in the region
originated from Central America.
The CBS report describes Mexico's actions as a "novel
Perhaps instead of retaining a boutique law firm to
approach," but there's nothing novel about it. Lawsuits like flout federal law in an attempt to attack law-abiding gun
these have been used for decades as a tactic by anti-gun
manufacturers, the Mexican government should spend its
groups and governments in their attempts to bankrupt
money on getting some help for the reported 125 Mexigun manufacturers and circumvent the political process.
can immigration officers patrolling the 577-mile border
That's why Congress passed the Protection of Lawful
with Guatemala.

AP Photo/Moises Castillo

n another chapter in the ongoing attempt to blame the
American gun community for Mexico's internal strife, CBS
News reports that the Mexican government has retained
the law firm of Reid Collins & Tsai to examine its options for
suing U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors. The Mexican
government's plans for a lawsuit extend at least back to
Nov. 2, 2010, when a contract with the law firm was signed.

68 J

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2011

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American Rifleman - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2011

American Rifleman - July 2011 - 1
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