New Player in Mexico’s Drug War: The NRA

We may have avoided default – for now. But there’s another political monster we’ve tried to postpone that’s fed up with our recalcitrance. By this, of course, we mean Mexico’s drug war.

There’s not just an out-of-control conflict on our border. There’s also the very much-related battle between gun lobbyists against the Obama administration, which is grappling with a growing gun-running scandal of its own.

The National Rifle Association has filed suit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, following new regulations requiring gun stores in border states to report multiple rifle sales. Beginning Aug. 14, if you live in a border state like Arizona or Texas and want to sell more than one semi-automatic rifle (above .22 caliber and with a removable magazine) within five days, then you will have to let the ATF know or risk your license. That is unless the NRA can block it.

These regulations include rifles like the AK-47, which are regularly trafficked across the border by agents working for Mexico’s largest and most dangerous drug cartels.

It’s all part of a revamped White House strategy, revealed last month aimed and at combating organized crime. The plan calls for blocking financial transactions from criminal networks, strengthening legal systems in partner nations and stopping “the illicit flow from the United States of weapons and criminal proceeds that empower TOC networks.” That’s national security lingo for drug cartels, among other groups.

But there’s one problem: The administration’s top agency dedicated to stopping illegal weapons trafficking, the ATF, is embroiled in a scandal over a disastrous plan to allow straw-purchased guns to “walk” into Mexico. Most of the weapons later disappeared out of the agency’s sight due to lack of resources (and sheer negligence), according to testimony by ATF officials last week to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

– Read the Full Article in WIRED Magazine.