Citation(s) from the literature library

Diaz, Tom. 2009 ‘The Role of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market.’ Iron River: Gun Violence and Illegal Firearms Trafficking on the US-Mexico Border, pp. 7-8. Washington, DC: Violence Policy Center. 1 April

Relevant contents

The Role of the U.S. Civilian Firearms Market

Even though it appears from anecdotal reports that some military firearms ― e.g., machine guns and hand grenades ― are being smuggled to Mexico, such military armament is beyond the scope of this report. Nonetheless, one likely source of many of such weapons is theft from military arsenals by gang members in the U.S. armed forces. According to a January 2007 report by the National Gang Intelligence Center, "Gang-related activity in the U.S. military is increasing and poses a threat to law enforcement officials and national security." With specific respect to firearms smuggling, the report stated:

"Gang members in the military are commonly assigned to military support units where they have access to weapons and explosives. Military personnel may steal items by improperly documenting supply orders or by falsifying paperwork. Law enforcement officials throughout the United States have recovered military-issued weapons and explosives ― such as machine guns and grenades ― from criminals and gang members while conducting search warrants and routine traffic stops."

Even aside from theft of military weapons, U.S. street gangs are intimately involved in gun trafficking and gun violence on both sides of the border.

[Source cited: National Gang Intelligence Center, Intelligence Assessment: Gang-Related Activity in the US Armed Forces Increasing, January 12, 2007]

ID: Q5322

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