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April 3, 2009

Guns, Mexico and the 90 Percent Myth

By now we've all heard the statement, "90 percent of guns used to commit crimes in Mexico come from the United States," but a investigative report released yesterday has punched a hole in that myth, concluding, "It's just not true."

Even when the statement was "clarified" by ATF to say 90 percent of "traced" firearms came from the United States, reporters found otherwise, saying only 17 percent of guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico have been traced to the U.S.

All firearms made in the United States are stamped with a make, model and serial number, and a large number of guns recovered in Mexico do not have such markings, indicating they did not come from this country.

According to the article, there is a big discrepancy between the number of guns Mexico submitted to ATF for tracing and the total number of guns found at crime scenes. That means many guns are coming from somewhere else, possibly the Mexican Army since a large number of soldiers have deserted–some to work for the drug cartels–and may have taken their guns with them. The black market and Central and South America are among other sources the story mentions.

Among the weapons recovered at Mexican crime scenes are fully automatic firearms, grenades and rocket launchers. These are most certainly not coming from federally licensed firearms retailers in the United States.

With politicians and reporters continuing to promote the "90 percent" myth, it would be nice if the media reported on the findings by to set the record straight.

Read the full story and watch the video.

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