A trio of weapons seizures in Arizona and Texas this week highlight the U.S. Department of Homeland Securityâ€™s (DHS) heightened emphasis on tracking and intercepting illegal guns and ammunition near the U.S.-Mexico border under Secretary Janet Napolitano.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents seized 10 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition from a southbound pickup truck in Southwestern Arizona on Saturday. On Thursday, CBP officers found rifle barrels, firearm accessories and gun powder in a tractor-trailer attempting to exit the U.S. for Mexico in Pharr, Tex. And on Wednesday, CBP agents in Laredo, Tex., discovered a collection of weapons and ammunition hidden in a second truck destined for Mexico. In both cases, suspects were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
â€śStopping the flow of illegal weapons from the United States to Mexico is critical to our fight against violent drug cartels,â€ť Secretary Napolitano said. â€śWe are continuing to find new ways to fight recent increases in illegal weapons trafficking to Mexico, and I applaud the officers and agents who work to prevent these illegal weapons from crossing the border. You will see more of these successes.â€ť
Agents in Arizona found five SKS rifles, two AK-47 rifles, two semi-automatic .9 mm pistols and one CVA .50 rifle, along with several thousands of ammunition rounds hidden in an ice chest. The two men in the truck, a U.S. citizen and a legal permanent resident from Mexico, were arrested.
In Pharr, officers stopped a commercial tractor-trailer with Mexican registration at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge and discovered 19 bottles of gun powder, 9,000 pistol primers, 1,100 bullet reloads and two rifle barrels.
Officers in Laredo arrested a U.S. citizen attempting to drive over the Lincoln-Juarez Bridge after a cache of gun parts, accessories and ammunition was discovered hidden in the truckâ€™s side panels and gas tank.
The seizures represent an active response by DHS along the United Statesâ€™ southern border to combat the smuggling of firearms to Mexico, where a recent surge in violence has been fueled largely by guns and ammunition trafficked from the U.S.
Read more on this issue from the Brady Campaign: "Weak U.S. Gun Laws Fueling Mexican Violence."
POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW