Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, issued the following statement today after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released data on firearms recovered in Mexico. The trace data indicates that between 2007-2011, 68.5 percent of firearms recovered in Mexico (68,161 out of 99,691) were either manufactured in or imported from the United States.
Per a provision Senator Feinstein authored in the FY 2012 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill, ATF is now required to regularly release data on firearms recovered in Mexico and submitted to ATF for tracing.
"Today's firearms trace report unfortunately continues to show what we had expected: an overwhelming majority of firearms recovered at crime scenes in Mexico and traced by ATF originated right here in the United States.
"Between 2007 and 2011, 68.5 percent of firearms recovered in Mexico and submitted to ATF for tracing came from the United States, meaning they were either manufactured here or legally imported into the United States before going to Mexico.
"Congress has been largely silent while Mexican drug traffickers continue to gain access to military-style firearms coming from the United States. Lax U.S. gun laws contribute to an overwhelming majority of guns recovered in Mexico and originating in the United States.
"This data makes it very clear that we need to increase our efforts to starve the supply of American weapons that arm Mexico's brutal drug trafficking organizations. I will continue to push forward to work on solutions laid out in my June 2011 Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control report, Halting U.S. Firearms Trafficking to Mexico."