Mexican cartels buy gun parts in US not controlled by gun laws

14 Jul

This practice is not sanctioned by the gun control laws, warned intelligence firm Stratfor

The Mexican cartels have adopted a new method of obtaining supplies of weapons in the U.S., to buy parts in a legal practice that is not sanctioned by the gun control laws, warned intelligence firm Stratfor.

The global security institution said in an analysis posted on its website that an “important emerging source” of supply is an example of how cartels adapt to the measures ordered by U.S. authorities to stop arms trafficking.

Stratfor said that drug gangs are buying parts of variants of AR-15 rifles, M16 and M4, known as “lower receiver 80 percent,” which becomes the center of the weapon, which was then assembled other components.

In a rifle, the lower receiver is where the manufacturer prints the serial number that serves as a record for the parts.

When sold separately as a single piece, the lower receiver has no serial number, and under federal law are not considered as a weapon, so it can be marketed without a license in any amount and any person, Stratfor said.

By having the lower receiver, you can build an AR-15 rifle, M16 or M4, by purchasing additional parts required, such as the bolt, trigger and barrel, all of which can be obtained in a similar way as any is considered a firearm.

Only when the weapon is fully assembled, then it is considered a firearm and is subject to the federal weapons intelligence firm said.

The sale of receivers below 80 percent is aimed at enthusiasts who enjoy these artifacts to arm themselves.

Stratfor said that according to reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Snuff, Explosives and Firearms (ATF), assembled such weapons have also begun to appear in increasing numbers in Mexico.

The vast majority of semi-automatic rifles bought in the U.S. and smuggled into Mexico are transformed by dealers working for the cartels, empowering them to be fully automatic, he said.

These same dealers, Stratfor said, are capable of making the lower receiver assembly 80 percent and complete the weapon.

The assembly process is not difficult, and can also be bought legally in specialized manuals for it, plus they are placed online instructional videos to help in the process, he added.

A competent gunsmith with experience can combine the pieces and finish the weapon quickly and easily in an hour or less, he said.

In the article, Stratfor looks at how the Mexican drug cartels are adapting to the recent increase in surveillance in the American Southwest to detect the smuggling of weapons into Mexico.


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One response to “Mexican cartels buy gun parts in US not controlled by gun laws

  1. grizzledstranger

    07/17/2012 at 5:41 AM

    Sorry, the Stratfor item does not pass the reality test. Anyone with a computer and a cheap CNC milling machine can make a AR-15 lower from a block of delrin or aluminum for a few dollars in an hour or less. Or, with the proper printer, a lower that will last far longer than a cartel would be likely to use it can be printed in a couple of hours.

    AR-16 and M4 full autos are harder, since the 15 and 16 parts do not interchange and are rarely available. But why should the Cartels go to all that trouble, when media reports say arms traders will sell the Cartels arsenal refurbished AK-47’s, more powerful and fully automatic, for $60 USD each, delivered? The Cartels are businessmen and the economics of that are obviously bad.


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