US: New government plan to tackle arms trafficking to Mexico

The US Justice Department has announced new measures to prevent arms trafficking into Mexico. They require gun stores to notify the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) when they sell two or more semi-automatic, magazine-loading weapons to an individual. The new regulations also mandate tougher penalties for “straw buyers” which means individuals who buy assault weapons legally and then re-sell them illegally. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said, “This new reporting rule will give law enforcement new capacity to interdict these deadly guns before they can be used against Mexican police and citizens”. Mexican authorities have seized more than 100,000 weapons in the past four years, 85 percent of which came from the US, according to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who also said more than 34,600 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since December 2006.