A new report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) shows that more than more than 68,000 — or 68 percent — of the 99,691 guns recovered in Mexico between 2007 and 2011 were either made in the U.S. or legally brought into the U.S. at some point.
As you might expect, gun-rights advocates and gun-control advocates view the data quite differently, The Hill
Gun-rights advocates say the 68 percent number is overstated because the sample pool only reflects guns submitted to the ATF for traces. There are many other guns in Mexico, and many don’t have a U.S. connection, they say. Guns-rights supporters say Democrats try to use the inflated percentages to promote gun control.
But gun-control advocates say the 68 percent number is accurate and shows that U.S. weaponry is playing a major role in Mexico’s drug violence, which has killed more than 47,000 people over the past five years.
The ATF has been embroiled in scandal over the past 16 months for its failed Fast and Furious operation. That program authorized the sale of weapons to Mexican criminals, with the hope that the weapons could be traced back to Mexican drug kingpins.
But ATF agents weren’t allowed to follow the gun buyers, and some of the weapons were used in the murder of a U.S. border agent. The two top ATF officials resigned over the scandal.
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