Aug 4, 2011
The Obama administration lost no time determining where to place primary blame for border violence. During a joint April 16, 2009, White House press conference with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico, President Obama stated that more than 90% of all guns recovered by Mexican authorities came from the United States. He had previously made the same claim in February of that year, further asserting that many of those firearms came from gun shops that line our border.
According to FactCheck.org , that 90% statistic is highly inflated because it “represents only the percentage of crime guns that have been submitted by Mexican officials and traced by U.S. officials.” Mexico actually recovers many more guns than it submits to the U.S. In December 2008, Mexican Attorney General Eduadro Medina Mora put the number of the country’s recovered crime weapons over the preceding two years at 29,000. Assuming that the total reported 10,347 guns seized and given to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing by Mexican authorities during 2007 and 2008 is an accurate number, only about 36% of all recovered crime weapons in Mexico came from U.S. sources.
Still, that exaggerated 90% figure continued to be touted as gospel by gun control advocates. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated in March 26, 2009 on CBS’s Early Show: “We have to recognize and accept that the demand for drugs from the United States drives them north, and [of] the guns that are used by the drug cartels against the police and the military, 90% come from America.”
During a March 17, 2009, Congressional hearing on the subject, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said: “According to ATF, more than 90% of the guns seized after raids in Mexico have been traced right here to the United States.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) chimed in, adding: “It is unacceptable to have 90% of the guns that are picked up in Mexico used to shoot judges, police officers, mayors, kidnap innocent people and do terrible things come from the United States, and I think we must stop that.”