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Document Type

Notes

Abstract

Mexican drug trafficking organizations are the largest providers of illicit drugs to the United States. They have also grown to rely on advanced, high-power weaponry and to use their nearly military-grade armament to maintain control over smuggling corridors, and local drug production areas. Cartels are also linked to nearly 40,000 deaths over the last five years, many of which were committed with guns originating in the United States. The United States is likely the most prevalent source of weapons for the increasingly violent cartels. The U.S. government estimates that nearly ninety percent of all weapons used in the drug war originate in the United States. An analysis of current gun control policy in the United States and Mexico suggests this is likely the case; Mexico has particularly strict gun control laws in contrast to the relatively lenient gun control regulation in the United States. Both countries have implemented domestic policies aimed at reducing the southward flow of arms into Mexico, yet so far have had little success. This Note argues that arms trafficking has been facilitated by current U.S. gun control policy, and it will likely continue without a foundational shift in either U.S. or international policy.

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