"Guns don't kill people, the cartels do..." or so we thought. Perhaps we could add corrupt government and police officials do too, by facilitating or turning a blind eye to the soaring violence which has long made Mexico rank within the top 20 most dangerous countries in the world based on murder rate.
But apparently Mexico officials think it's in reality the US gun companies to blame for fueling the violence with their products. Bloomberg reports Wednesday, "Mexico filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court Wednesday against Smith & Wesson Brands Inc., Glock Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Co. and other major gun manufacturers, accusing them of contributing to gang violence south of the border."
The companies stand accused of wreaking havoc in Mexican society "by persistently supplying a torrent of guns to the drug cartels," according to the civil suit filed in a Massachusetts federal district court.
The complaint lists among American manufacturers "whose guns are most often recovered in Mexico" - particularly Barrett and its highly sought-after .50-caliber sniper rifle - the following:
- Smith & Wesson
- Glock and Sturm
- Ruger and Co.,
- Beretta U.S.A. Corp,
- Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC and Century International Arms Inc.
- Interstate Arms wholesaler.
The lawsuit filing reads that "For decades the government and its citizens have been victimized by a deadly flood of military-style and other particularly lethal guns that flows from the U.S. across the border, into criminal hands in Mexico."
The country adds that "This flood is not a natural phenomenon or an inevitable consequence of the gun business or of U.S. gun laws. It is the foreseeable result of the defendants’ deliberate actions and business practices."
Mexico only has one gun store, the suit reads...
Mexico filed suit in US federal court against major gun manufacturers. Crazy stat from that suit: pic.twitter.com/wwLY2VnYBn— Tina Davis (@tina_davis) August 4, 2021
Damages are being sought in an amount to be determined by the court, the filing indicates, while ultimately it seeks to put a stop to what it describes as the US gun companies' "dangerous and illegal sales practices". And underscoring that Mexico sees this as 'intentional' - the filing adds that the listed companies sell "in ways they know routinely arm the drug cartels in Mexico." Some reports have cited Mexican officials who've floated they could seek up to $10 billion from the American companies.
Mexico has called gun companies' tactics "reckless" - specifically citing the example of Colt's iconic .38-caliber Emiliano Zapata 1911... apparently history-themed commemorative guns are out of bounds.
This is one of Colt's guns, the "Emiliano Zapata 1911" pistol, engraved with the image of the Mexican revolutionary. Apparently it's coveted as a status symbol among drug cartels. pic.twitter.com/HicBhPyxXb— Tom Hals (@tomhals) August 4, 2021
The suit details that some 17,000 Mexican citizens were murdered with US-made guns in 2019 alone, mostly in the context of cartel-related violence.