Latin American Program in the News: Obama's Gun Plan Could Impact Weapons Trafficking

Fronteras Desk

Jan 23, 2013

President Barack Obama called for a series of laws and restrictions that would overhaul the nation’s gun laws on Wednesday. Some of those steps could have an impact on weapons trafficking across the border into Mexico.

Among the recommendations, the president said he will ask Congress to create a federal firearms trafficking law. Right now, one of the closest regulations to that is a straw-purchasing law whose sentencing guidelines, law enforcement believe do not match the crime.

Eric Olson is with the Woodrow Wilson Center, a think-tank that has studied cross-border weapons trafficking. He says the president was vague, but Olson said federal prosecutors need a trafficking law.

"It gives them a more direct tool for attacking the problem of trafficking," Olson said.

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