Mexico: Government asks US for firearms registry

Published: 14 January 2013


The Mexican government has officially called on the United States to set up a firearm registry along its border to help trace illegal firearms to their sources, and to curtail endemic gun violence, according to Mexico’s Informador. Weapons purchased in the U.S. and smuggled across the border often end up in the hands of criminal organizations. During the six-year presidency of Felipe Calderon Presidency, the deaths of nearly 60,000 Mexicans were tied to this gun violence.

With varying state laws and lenient regulation of firearms in the US, the immediate impact of the request by the Mexican Government is likely to be minimal. One possible source of change in gun laws across the border is the growing impetus for gun control in the United States following the Sandy Hook school tragedy which claimed the lives of 27, but no detailed legislation has yet been proposed.

The request for a firearm registry came as Mexico’s new president, Enrique Peña Nieto, finished his first 30 days in office. Insight Crime reported that the number of murders linked to organized crime in Mexico during the month-long period was 982, up slightly from November’s tally of 949. The recent change in political leadership has done little to calm Mexico’s violence.

The number of killings by region has seen a shift. Previously violent regions such as Guerrero, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon all saw the number of murders drop significantly, while San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas each saw a rise to 53 killings.

Murder rates have dropped within the Zeta heartland of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, but have risen along the periphery of the organization’s region of influence.  This may point to a calmer future for central Zeta territory, as new leadership cements itself following the shooting  death of Zeta boss Heriberto Lacanzo in October.