First, I'll post their twitter feeds and then we'll look at the numbers.
"Vast majority of Mexican crime guns originate in US" says the Violence Policy Center.
Brady Campaign responds "68K US guns 'traveled' to Mexico, took up life of crime"
"Of more than 68,000 crime guns traced from Mexico to U.S. from 2007-2011, 27,825 of them have been traced to specific retail purchases" Chimes the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
CSGV then pipes in with "Of over 68,000 guns traced from Mexico crime scenes 2 US from 2007-2011, only 1,461 were sold by US gun dealers 2 Foreign military or police"
I had to set them straight with "according to the State Dpt in 2009 over 18,000 firearms were sold to MX Government. Of those 26% were diverted into the 'wrong hands'"
and that shut them up. Let's look at the ATF data.
Although the claim is that 68% of firearms recovered in MX and submitted to ATF for trace has traced back to the US, the truth is that only 28% of the firearms submitted for trace can be traced to a Retail Sale. Since ALL firearms originate from a retail sale, (then may change hands through private sale), Where the Hell did the other 72% of the firearms come from? Keep in mind, too, that these 28% of firearms include direct retail sales from the US to the MX government.
According to Sharyl Attkisson, in 2009, the State Department approved the sale of 18,709 firearms to the MX government from US dealers. 26% of which came up missing. That's 4,864 firearms, that can be traced back to the US that was introduced to the criminal element by the MX government. Since the ATF listed the firearms in the year they were recovered, there is no way to know if these 4,864 firearms were recovered in 2009, '10, or '11, or if they've been recovered yet. The reason we don't know is because the ATF refuses to list the firearms by operation or direct sales.
In September 2009, the Mexican government provided ATF with “electronic files containing firearms identifiers and recovery data. The electronic files contained information that initiated over 43,000 firearms traces, excluding duplicates, with most having recovery years ranging from CY 2007 to 2009,” according to information given to the press.
The majority of the sales linked back to the U.S. according to this trace data, actually come from government to government sales, not from normal sales made in American gun shops.
Keep in mind that there are two types of sales from the US to other governments. Government to Government that goes through the Pentagon and Direct commercial sales that get approved by the US State Department.
Well, now it seems that the US government condoned sales are representing the vast majority of these crime guns, not from the average Joe Citizen, but yet Joe Citizen is being blamed on these crime guns.
Further, Katie Pavlich is reporting that this trace information is including stolen guns from the private citizens and businesses from the US.
Now, back to that 72% of firearms that are not accounted for, where did they come from? Could it be from some other ATF operation? Could it be from some other DEA or FBI operation? Maybe the CIA? Who the hell knows. This 72% of unaccounted for firearms could have come from other governments that purchased firearms from the US.
Remember, too, that the 99,000 firearms submitted for trace from the MX government doesn't represent the whole of the firearms that were recovered in MX, only the firearms that could be linked to US. The actual number of firearms recovered in MX is unknown at this time, but certainly includes automatic firearms, rocket launchers, and other explosives that Joe Citizen doesn't have access to.