Mexico: An Example of Restricted Constitutional Gun Rights

It may be surprising to learn that there is only one place in the entirety of Mexico where a person … Continued

Mexico's only gun shop
Mexico’s only gun shop is on a military base. photo from dailymail.com

It may be surprising to learn that there is only one place in the entirety of Mexico where a person can legally purchase a firearm. According to this story posted by FoxNews, it’s an anonymous building buried on an army base in the capital, staffed by soldiers.

Anybody who goes has to surrender cell phones, tablets, cameras, hats, and go through a metal detector. Firearms are kept in locked glass cases, where customers are not allowed to handle them.

The story says in Mexico, the constitution guarantees citizens’ rights to own a handgun and hunting rifles for self-defense and sport. However, so many bureaucratic hurdles have been put in place that many must travel huge distances to reach the country’s single gun store, which the story says most of Mexico’s 120 million citizens probably don’t know about.

The store isn’t even allowed to advertise the fact that it exists, let alone the 27 brands of firearms it sells.

Despite all this, sales at the shop are booming, the story says, in parallel with “a large and active black-market trade for contraband weapons flooding south from the United States.”

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Back in 2000, the shop sold just 549 guns, according to army records, the story says. In 2015, sales had soared to 10,115, which the story attributes to a rise in concern over personal safety during a surge in violent deaths in the country, the story says.

According to this story from dailymail.com, despite the incredibly strict restrictions on firearms sales in Mexico, 164,000 people have been murdered between 2007 and 2014.

Those who say gun-control advocates merely want to restrict the 2nd Amendment, not abolish it, should consider that gun ownership is enshrined in the Mexican constitution as well, including a provision that empowers the government to regulate the types of firearms that are permitted and under what conditions.

From the story:

“Mexicans can legally purchase one handgun for home protection, while members of hunting or shooting clubs can acquire up to nine rifles of no more than .30 caliber and shotguns up to 12 gauge.”

Mexico's only gun shop
Gun sales at the country’s only store have skyrocketed, despite a healthy black market. photo from dailymail.com

Gun owners in the story say it’s nearly impossible to attain a concealed carry permit in Mexico to protect themselves from robbers targeting bus passengers, motorists at stoplights, and customers emerging from banks and ATMs, the story says.

At least six separate documents are required to buy a gun: a birth certificate, a letter confirming employment, proof of a clean criminal record from the attorney general’s office in the applicant’s home state, a utility bill with current address, a copy of government-issued ID and a federal social security number. Gun owners must register all firearms, the story says.

Luciano Segurajauregui Alvarez, a gun advocate who shoots recreationally and competitively, said it’s almost pointless to apply for a CCW permit. “If I put my papers in… they’re going to take about three to four, even six months, and then send me a letter telling me that it’s the obligation of the state to provide security for all people in Mexico, so your permit is denied,” he said in the story.

However, the story says many Mexicans doubt the state’s ability to protect them, with several “self-defense militias” springing up in rural areas.