September 27, 2023

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Curb Firearms Trafficking to Mexican Drug Cartels

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced he and Senate colleagues have introduced legislation that would prevent firearms trafficking from the United States to Mexico.

“International firearms trafficking puts lives in danger and helps criminals sell narcotics. This must end now,” Wyden said. “It’s time for Congress to address the proliferation of firearms trafficking and keep Americans safe from gun violence by passing the Stop Arming Cartels Act.”

The trafficking of firearms worsens violence, enables cartels and eases the illicit trade of narcotics back into the United States. According to a recent study from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, 70 percent of crime guns recovered from Mexico and submitted for tracing are U.S.-sourced.

The Stop Arming Cartels Act would:

  • Prohibit future nongovernmental manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, or possession of .50 caliber rifles.
  • Regulate existing .50 caliber rifles under the National Firearms Act, with a fee waiver and 12-month grace period for registration on the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record for those who lawfully possess them under current law.
  • Create an exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, allowing victims of gun violence to sue manufacturers and dealers who engage in firearm transactions prohibited under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.
  • Prohibit the sale or transfer of firearms to individuals sanctioned under the Kingpin Act and add Kingpin Act designations to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  • Require firearms dealers to report multiple sales of rifles to state and local law enforcement agencies, as they must currently do for handguns.

The legislation was led by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill. Alongside Wyden, the bill was led by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Peter Welch, D-Vt., Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

The bill is endorsed by Brady: United Against Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, Newtown Action Alliance, March for Our Lives, Global Exchange, Global Action on Gun Violence, Amnesty International USA, and The U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The text of the bill is here.