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Mexico Compares U.S. Gun Laws to Their Own for Possible Reform

November 23, 2016

Dr. Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) testified on Wednesday, in front of the Mexican Senate and House Constitution Committees on ways to reform Mexican gun laws. Mexican officials wanted to know more about gun laws in America and how laws in the U.S. differ from Mexico’s gun control measures.

Senator Jorge Luis Preciado brought Lott in to reflect on the effects of reforming Mexico’s major gun control measure, 1972 Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives. Preciado favors allowing firearms in homes and cars for self-defense but he wanted to know more about the international laws and how they have affected citizens.

Dr. Lott told the committees, “In the debate on gun control [it] is easy to talk about what could go wrong, but we do not have to guess. There are many experiences in several countries that could be considered. For example, if it [legally owning a firearm] worked in the United States why not believe that it’d work in Mexico too? …what can they lose if they give people the opportunity to defend themselves?”

Lott explained that gun opponents have great concerns over suicides, homicides and accidental firings but followed up with these are false concerns. He says that police cannot be everywhere and if the pro-gun legislation were to pass it would greatly benefit those in the poverty stricken neighborhoods. Lott also cited a startling statistic, 98 percent of mass shootings have taken place in gun-free zones.

Lott also told the committee, “A woman who is to be raped, can she tell the rapist to wait while she calls the police? If you are being robbed, can you tell the thief to wait while you call the police? That’s impossible.” In regards to Mexico’s homicide rates, Lott noted the decrease in homicides from 1960 to 1972. Homicides increased once the 1972 Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives was enacted.

Ernesto Lopez Portillo, of the Institute for Security and Democracy (Insyde), said that this organization opposes the Senator Preciado’s proposal and said that 133 reports and 200 experiences generated in the Forum for the Prevention of Violence and Killings were reviewed “and we find no single case in which the bearing of arms is recommended” to reduce such cases.