WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
13 Feb 2009 | News

WOLA Supports Letter to President on Enforcement of Assault Weapons Ban

Yesterday Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) sent a letter to President Obama encouraging him to return to the Bush 1/Clinton enforcement ban on imported assault weapons.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S agency charged with upholding the ban, has quietly abandoned the effort in recent years, resulting in a flood of cheap military-style assault weapons into the civilian firearms market.  The increased availability of these firearms has led to not only increased violence in urban areas in the U.S., but is also having a disastrous effect on our foreign policy with Mexico.  Assault weapons are being smuggled in bulk from U.S. border states to Mexico where they are used by narco-traffickers to fuel a drug war that killed 5,700 people last year, including 944 in November alone.  WOLA has been following the recent increase in violence in Mexico and applauds this effort to reduce the flow of illegal arms into Mexico.  “A return to enforcing this ban would be an important first step in demonstrating to our Mexican neighbors that we are committed to doing our part to end the drug-related violence plaguing Mexico,” said WOLA Associate for Mexico and Central America, Maureen Meyer.   

Click here to read the letter to President Obama.

Maureen Meyer, Associate for Mexico and Central America,[email protected]