Mexico, the United States, and Guatemala are the only three countries where the citizens' right to bear arms is guaranteed in the constitution. Unlike the United States, Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws, yet illegal firearms flood the country. In fact, Mexico has every gun control law that anti-gun activists wish to pass in the United States.
The high level of violence in the largest Spanish speaking nation has led some Mexicans to rethink gun control.
"Let's fight to regain our peace of mind. Today Mexico needs you," the Mexican Association of Firearms Users posted. "We must ensure the existence of our rights and a good future for our children."
Gun control laws in Mexico.
Mexicans can purchase only a single handgun and up to 9 long guns. Citizens are all required to prove that they belong to a hunting or shooting club to buy a gun.
Gun shows and private sales are banned in Mexico, and the government oversees all transactions. Gun buybacks are a thing in Mexico where owners are only allowed to resell their firearms to the government.
Every firearm buyer is subjected to mandatory background checks, which could last up to half a year.
Concealed carry is rare, and citizens must obtain a separate license, which is almost impossible to get.
De-facto arms control measures.
The Directorate of Arms and Ammunitions Sales is the only gun shop in a country with over 126 million people. The shop attendants are active soldiers dressed in official uniforms. People living from as far as Puerto Escondido must travel to the City of Palaces to complete all transactions.
Given the long waiting periods, a citizen has to make the trip several times. Guns and permits are also priced way above what most people could afford. This explains why the only gun store in the country used to sell only 38 firearms per day.
Given the strict restrictions, it would be tough for criminals to obtain firearms. However, over 85% of all guns in Mexico are illegal and are responsible for over 100,000 deaths in the past decade. This is because only law-abiding Mexicans obey the country's gun control laws.
Julian LeBaron, a Mexican-American whose family members died in a cartel ambush, thinks Mexicans should be allowed to take responsibility for their safety.
"Every person should have the means to defend themselves, especially if authorities don't have the power to stop the crimes – especially organized crime. It becomes a vicious cycle," LeBaron told Fox News.
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