On January 14th, 2013 WOLA hand-delivered a bi-national petition to the White House calling on the Obama administration to take tough executive action to tighten U.S. laws to prevent international gun trafficking. The petition was initiated by more than a dozen human rights and anti-gun violence groups, because in too many communities across Mexico, violence has become a frightening reality of daily life.
Over the past six years, more than 60,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug war. And many of the guns that fuel this violence are smuggled over the U.S. border.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, over 70 percent of the weapons seized in Mexico and submitted for tracing in the past three years came from the United States.
Nearly 55,000 people on both sides of the border signed the petition asking President Obama to help stop gun smugglers. The petition calls on the U.S. government to stem the flow of illegal weapons going across the border by:
- Enforcing the existing ban on the importation of military-style assault weapons (because many of them are later illegally smuggled into Mexico);
- Requiring gun dealers to report to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) the sale of multiple assault rifles to the same person over a period of five days;
- Strengthening legal enforcement in regions of the U.S. that supply the bulk of the contraband weapons smuggled into Mexico.
Read the press release.