Dems introduce gun trafficking bill

Dems introduce gun trafficking bill
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House Democrats introduced a bill Wednesday intended to combat illegal arms trafficking to Mexico.
 
The bill, penned by Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) would make it a crime to carry or send two or more guns across state or international borders with the knowledge or suspicion that they could be used to commit a crime.
 
 
Mexican cartels and criminals are thought to rely heavily on guns smuggled from the United States. 
 
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto agreed in a January call on the need to contain the southbound traffic of guns, but the bilateral relationship has been dominated by talk on immigration, the border wall, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
 
The bill also directs the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to improve its gun tracking measures. Currently, the ONDCP calculates the number of American guns used in Mexico based on estimates by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which traces weapons in Mexico.
 
A January 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office report found the ATF method to be deficient and recommended that the ONDCP “establish comprehensive indicators that more accurately reflect progress made in efforts to stem arms trafficking to Mexico.” 
 
Under Torres’s bill, that recommendation would become law.
 
The information from those reports would become public under the bill, including information about the type, make, model and caliber of firearms tracked. 
 
Under current law, tracking the interstate or international commerce of firearms is prohibited, something the bill’s sponsors say should change.
 
“The federal government is also prohibited from compiling data on this type of activity, also due to our arcane gun laws. This is obvious, commonsense stuff that has been stymied by the gun lobby for far too long,” said Engel.
 
The bill would also expand an Obama-era regulation that currently applies to the four border states that requires gun store owners to report purchases of multiple long guns to ATF. Under the bill, that regulation would become law and expand to all 50 states.
 
Mexico has long sought to limit the southbound supply of weapons, but its representatives had traditionally been reluctant to publicly address the issue for fear of alienating their U.S. counterparts.
 
Most firearms are illegal in Mexico, but the 10-year drug war has attracted a flood of illicit guns, primarily from the United States and Central America.
 
The drug-related violence has especially hit cities along Mexico’s northern border, although cities on the American side of the border tend to have below-average violent crime rates.
 
Torres said her bill would do more for border security than Trump's proposed border wall, at a much lower cost for taxpayers.
 
“President Trump has proposed spending billions of taxpayer dollars building a wall between the United States [and] Mexico that will do little to secure the border and has only offended our Mexican and Latin American allies in the process,” said Torres.