The Mexican government sued several American gun manufacturers in U.S. federal court on Wednesday, alleging their negligent operations allowed illegal guns to enter Mexico which were used to carry out criminal activity within the country, as homicides in Mexico reach record high numbers.
Gun manufacturers that are named in the lawsuit include Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc., Beretta U.S.A Corp., Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC, Interstate Arms and Glock Inc., the Associated Press reports.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Boston, alleges the companies are aware that their business practices contribute to the problem of firearms trafficking.
The Mexican government, which heavily regulates gun sales within its borders, noted that trafficked weapons were connected to 17,000 homicides in the country.
The Mexican government is seeking at least $10 billion for damages, and said in court documents its goal is to end firearm trafficking.
“The priority is that we reduce homicides,” Marcelo Ebrard, Forreign Affairs Secretary told the Associated Press. “We aren’t looking to change American laws.”
In 2020, there were about 36,000 murders in Mexico, according to the Associated Press, which equals a rate of about 29 people killed per 100,000 residents. Mexican President Andres Manual Lopez Obrador pledged in 2019 to prioritize cracking down on illegal firearms entering from the U.S. through drug cartels, since firearm sales are restricted in Mexico.
70%. That’s the estimated percent of U.S. weapons that are trafficked into Mexico, the Foreign Affairs Ministry told Associated Press.
Mexico’s homicide rate stayed high in 2020 despite pandemic (Associated Press)