Mexico Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Gun Dealers

Published: 14 October 2022

GunsssMexican officials have filed a lawsuit against five gun dealers based in Arizona that allegedly provided weapons to criminal groups in Mexico. (Photo: M&R Glasgow, Flickr, License)

By Vinicius Madureira

Mexican officials have sued five gun dealers from Arizona for allegedly providing weapons to criminal groups and cartels in Mexico, the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs reported.

“The lawsuit alleges that five Arizona gun dealers routinely and systematically engage in the illicit trafficking of weapons, including military-style guns, for criminal groups in Mexico through sales to proxies (straw purchasers) and arms traffickers,” the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs stated.

The lawsuit was filed with the U.S. District Court of Tucson, Arizona against Sprague’s Sports Inc; SnG Tactical, LLC; Diamondback Shooting Sports, Inc; Lone Prairie, LLC, D/B/A Hub Target Sports; and Ammo A-Z, LLC.

These gun dealers “cause foreseeable harm, use misleading advertising, sell weapons that are modified into automatic weapons, cause disturbance to public order and violate laws, causing massive damage in Mexican territory,” read the statement.

The move is a new attempt to stop the avalanche of weapons, especially assault weapons, coming from the U.S. that end up in the hands of criminals and cartels, cause bloodshed in Mexico and strengthen drug trafficking activities to the U.S.

Earlier this year, Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said that some 250,000 weapons from Massachusetts have reached Mexico through illegal means since 2011. It gave rise to a previous lawsuit in Massachusetts brought by Mexico against the arms industry in the U.S.

In case a U.S. court drops this lawsuit against the gunmakers, Mexican lawmaker Gina Andrea Cruz Blackledge said it would be essential to invest in border infrastructure.

Legal adviser to the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs Alejandro Celorio said that Mexico is the “fifth country in the world with the most unregistered firearms.” He added that it is estimated that there are more than 13 million unregistered weapons in circulation in Mexico despite the fact that gun ownership laws are strict there, according to a recent Small Arms Survey.

Eighteen out of the 50 cities with the highest homicide rates in the world are in Mexico and about two-thirds of nearly 280,000 murders in the country between 2007 and 2019 were linked to firearms.

Ebrard said that Mexico could present more complaints in the future. “We are never going to give up on this, because it has to do with the security and peace of our country,” he said.