The United States should reinstate a Clinton-era ban on assault weapons to prevent such guns from reaching Mexican drug cartels, former officials from both countries said in a report released Tuesday.
The group, which includes two former U.S. ambassadors to Mexico, also said the U.S. should do more to stop the smuggling of firearms and ammunition into Mexico by stepping up investigations of gun dealers and more strictly regulating gun shows.
The Binational Task Force on the United States-Mexico Border listed the assault weapons ban as a step the U.S. should take immediately to improve security in both countries. The 10-year ban expired in 2004.
“Improving our efforts … will weaken the drug cartels and disrupt their illegal activities, and make it easier ultimately to dismantle and destroy them,” said Robert Bonner, co-chairman of the group and former head of both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Customs and Border Protection agency.
U.S. and Mexican officials say drug cartels frequently use assault rifles, which are banned in Mexico but easily purchased in the United States. Read more