Firearms Trafficking: U.S. Efforts to Combat Arms Trafficking to Mexico Face Planning and Coordination Challenges, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 4MB]

"In recent years, violence along the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated dramatically, due largely to the Mexican government's efforts to disrupt Mexican drug trafficking organizations (DTO). U.S. officials note the violence associated with Mexican DTOs poses a serious challenge for U.S. law enforcement, threatening citizens on both sides of the border, and U.S. and Mexican law enforcement officials generally agree many of the firearms used to perpetrate crimes in Mexico are illicitly trafficked from the United States across the Southwest border. GAO was asked to examine data on the types, sources, and users of these firearms, key challenges confronting U.S. government efforts to combat illicit sales of firearms in the United States and stem the flow of them into Mexico, challenges faced by U.S. agencies collaborating with Mexican authorities to combat the problem of illicit arms, and the U.S. government's strategy for addressing the issue. GAO analyzed program information and firearms data and met with U.S. and Mexican officials on both sides of the border. GAO is making recommendations to several departments, including the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Justice, to improve interagency coordination, data gathering and analysis, and strategic planning. State and DHS agreed with our recommendations. Justice did not comment on our recommendations."

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Listed on July 1, 2009 [Critical Releases]