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Mexico Sues United States Gun Manufacturers

Says gunmakers are responsible for huge increase in homicides as illegal guns flow in
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2021 2:08 AM CDT
Mexico Sues United States Gun Manufacturers
In this Jan. 19, 2016, file photo, handguns are displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(Newser) – Mexico wants to stop the flow of US-made guns across the border—so it's suing US gunmakers. The move, which the Guardian calls "unprecedented," does not target the US government but does target such big names as Smith & Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Glock, and Ruger. Mexican authorities allege those companies depend upon illegal sales across the border to increase their profits, are aware that their business practices fuel such sales, and even cater to what Mexican cartels want in their weapons. According to Reuters, officials announcing the lawsuit told reporters they are seeking $10 billion in compensation. The suit also alleges that lax controls contribute to the problem.

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Over the past decade, about 2.5 million US guns have ended up in Mexico illegally, the Washington Post reports. Mexican authorities say those firearms have driven a massive increase in homicides over that time period. Mexico itself has very tight gun-control laws. As for how likely Mexico is to get the compensation it's seeking, one consultant says the country probably doesn't expect to win (though officials say they do), but wants to send a message to the Biden administration. In addition to the financial piece, the suit calls for tighter controls on gun sales and additional security features on the weapons themselves. The companies have not responded publicly, but the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association, says that "the Mexican government is responsible for the rampant crime and corruption within their own borders." (Read more Mexico stories.)

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