With gun prices so high, surley Mexican criminals are looking elsehwere

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

STRATFOR has published an article entitled Mexico: Economics and the Arms Trade. They made a very good point in saying that with semi-automatic rifles and ammunition prices in the United States so high, the large Mexican gangs have little incentive to shop over the boarder when importing from overseas is so much cheaper (even ignoring the fact that US civilian weapons are not fully-automatic, unlike overseas imports).

In fact, due to this surge in demand, it is downright difficult to locate many types of assault rifles and certain calibers of ammunition, though a lucky buyer might be able to find a basic stripped-down AR-15 for $850 to $1,100, or a semiautomatic AK-47 for $650 to $850. Of course, such a gun purchased in the United States and smuggled into Mexico will be sold to the cartels at a hefty premium above the purchase price.

By way of comparison, in places where weapons are abundant, such as Yemen, a surplus fully automatic assault rifle can be purchased for under $100 on the white arms market and for about the same price on the black arms market. This difference in price provides a powerful economic incentive to buy low elsewhere and sell high in Mexico, as does the inability to get certain classes of weapons such as RPGs and fragmentation grenades in the United States. Indeed, we have seen reports of international arms merchants from places like Israel and Belgium selling weapons to the cartels and bringing that ordnance into Mexico through routes other than over the U.S. border. Additionally, in South America, a number of arms smugglers, including Hezbollah and Russian organized-crime groups, have made a considerable amount of money supplying arms to groups in the region like the FARC.

I previously wrote that a significant proportion of the US-manufactured weapons captured in Mexico were in fact civilian hunting weapons, not semi-automatic, and legal to own and purchase in Mexico.

Thanks to Michael for sending me the article.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Jdun1911 Jdun1911 on Jul 15, 2009

    It does not take much skills to produce a firearms. 10 years old kids are making firearms out of their home in third world countries.

    Invest in a $5,000 CNC machine. Put the pre-made instruction in the computer that you can find anywhere on the internet. Press start, go watch a movie. Come back and the part will be ready to assemble.

    Firearms are simple machine. The problem with most Americans is that the public school system does not teach basic mechanical skills. So what you have is a lot of people thinking it is hard to produce anything that require you to work with your hands.

    We spend more per kid in education then any country in the world. Yet morons are coming out of the system. African kids can speak and write at least two language and can do math. These kids used text books that was publish before WWII. So something is terrible wrong with our public schools.

  • Milo Milo on Dec 07, 2010

    jdun1911, I could only wish running a CNC mill was that simple!

    A gunsmith trained machinist with a Bridgeport Mill, a Sherwood lathe, a welding rig, a heat treating cabinet,finishing tools and a good steady source of high quality steel can turn out single barrel shotguns easily, maybe one a day if he stayed busy.

    Barrels, especially rifled barrels, are not that easy to make nor is the equipment to produce them easy, cheap, or fast to acquire.

    Major firearm manufacturers are going to mold production techniques because the cost of machined from billet has become so expensive today it is becoming non cost effective in the first world.

    Purchasing military grade firearms and ammunition from third world sources is the only effective method of procuring weapons for an anarchistic expolit today and that is where Mexican gangs get most of the military weapons they now utilize.