Mexico’s Only Gun Store

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

There is only one gun store in all of Mexico, and it is located in Mexico City. The Sedena (Secretariat of National Defense) gun store has people coming from all over Mexico to look around and buy whatever gun they may need. The gun store carries just about anything from revolvers to single shot rifles to riot guns and assault rifles. Owned by the Mexican government, this is the only store in Mexico City and in fact the only place in all of Mexico where a person can legally buy and own a firearm. But buying a gun in Mexico legally is a very hard thing to do. The Mexican government requires that a person submit to a background check, have their birth certificate, proof of their address, and present a certificate that they have no criminal record. On top of that, the government dictates that people who live in urban areas can only purchase a handgun whereas people who live in rural areas can purchase a shotgun or rifle. If the applicants for a firearm pass all of the requirements, then the process for obtaining a license for the firearm takes between 15 to 45 days.

Even with these restrictions, a growing number of people have gone to this store to buy guns. The number of people buying firearms in Mexico has gone up 60 percent from a year ago. More people are buying guns than ever before because they have little trust in the government and the local police to prevent crime. The numbers speak for themselves. An estimated 18,000 people have been killed by the drug cartels this year, and this number may be under-reported. A record number of rapes, robberies,kidnappings and domestic violence have affected hundreds of thousands of people, and women are the most vulnerable. Many of those purchasing guns are women because they and their families feel they have no protection in their own homes. The number of people who have bought guns in Mexico speaks for itself. In 2011, 145,939 people legally owned guns. In 2016, the number of people who legally owned guns has gone up to 232,746. This year alone there has been an increase of 14,400 gun sales, or on average 40 guns per day has been purchased at the Sedena gun store. As the old saying goes; “when seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

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