Mexico's firearm laws

Mexico's firearm laws

This is a discussion on Mexico's firearm laws within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Excerpted from wikipedia and confirmed through the local consulate. Gun politics in Mexico The United Mexican States or Mexico has some of the strictest gun ...

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Thread: Mexico's firearm laws

  1. #1
    Closed Account Array Steelhorse's Avatar
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    Mexico's firearm laws

    Excerpted from wikipedia and confirmed through the local consulate.

    Gun politics in Mexico

    The United Mexican States or Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. It is in many ways similar to the United Kingdom, except with much more severe prison terms for even the smallest gun law violations for non-Mexicans. On the other hand, possession of non-military-caliber small arms by citizens is largely a non-issue, as such guns, although legally required to be registered, are largely ignored by authorities even when discovered, and are simply confiscated by government employees for their own use. Gun politics are thus not the major issue in Mexico that they are in the neighboring United States, since few Mexican citizens have any gun law difficulties. Usually, only US citizens run into trouble with Mexican officials over gun politics.

    Constitutional right to bear arms

    Mexican constitutional rights have long included the right to bear arms. The 1857 Constitution included the right to bear arms:

    Article 10: Every man has the right to have and to carry arms for his security and legitimate defense. The law will indicate which arms are prohibited and the penalty for those that will carry prohibited arms.

    These rights have subsequently been reduced somewhat through the gradual changing of constitutions and laws.

    The Constitution of 1917 , the current constitution in force and heavily-amended, grants Mexican citizens (and, theoretically, perhaps, all inhabitants) the right to possess firearms. However, this right does not include military firearms suitable for use in a militia, unlike in the United States where the Second Amendment is often interpreted as only protecting arms suitable for use in militias.

    Originally, this right consisted of the following:

    Artícle 10: The inhabitants of the United Mexican States have a right to arms in their homes, for security and legitimate defense, with exception of the prohibited arms for use by federal law enforcement and of the reserved arms for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard. Federal law will determine the cases, conditions, requirements, and places in which the carrying of arms will be authorized to the inhabitants.

    This right did not address the right of possession of arms outside one's home. Subsequently, under the constitution of 1917 as amended, arms for the Air Force no longer were included as being reserved for their exclusive use, and the right became:

    Article 10. The inhabitants of the United Mexican States are entitled to have arms of any kind in their possession for their protection and legitimate defense, except such as are expressly forbidden by law, or which the nation may reserve for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy, or National Guard; but they may not carry arms within inhabited places without complying with police regulations.

    Gun licensing and legislation for Mexican citizens

    Generally, citizens are restricted by law to:

    .380 ACP or .38 caliber or smaller,
    12 gauge or smaller, with barrels longer than 25 inches, and
    rifles (rifles) other than in military calibers
    Full-auto firearms, and all firearms in 9 mm, 38 Super, or larger, firing so-called military calibers, are all forbidden for private ownership. Likewise, pistols in .357 Magnum are forbidden.

    Examples of firearms that are legal for citizens to own include .380 ACP semi-automatic pistolas, .38 Special revolvers, 12 gauge shotguns (no sawed-off shotguns are allowed) and rifles up to .30 caliber.

    Permits for the transportation and use of such non-military caliber firearms are issued for one year terms by SEDENA (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional) and may be applied for up to 10 firearms, total, for each designated and planned use that is legally authorized. These uses may include hunting or shooting at a club or national competition. Permits are very easy to obtain for citizens belonging to a shooting club.

    There is only one legally authorized retail outlet in Mexico City: UCAM (Unidad de Comercialización de Armamento y Municiones), run by the Army and able to sell firearms. It is owned by, and is part of, the government. Although there is no legal limit on how many firearms an individual can own, once any individual has purchased ten firearms from the only retail governmental outlet, he cannot get a permit to buy any more. However, private party sales are legal and are largely uncontrolled, and wealthy gun-collecting citizens thus can legally buy more firearms from other private owners.

    Collector permits, somewhat analogous to the FFL Category 03 Curio & Relic permits issued in the United States, are easy to obtain from the Mexican Government and allow the ownership of a wide range of firearms, even including military firearms. For those holding collector permits, regular visits by the local military authority to inspect the storage location to make sure it has the necessary security measures to avoid the guns being stolen are a recurring fact of life.

    CCW licenses are issued but are hard to obtain for anyone not wealthy and without political connections. In the event that an application is denied, the denial may theoretically be appealed at a District Court, but this never occurs in practice. Prior to 2002, CCW licenses could be obtained authorizing military caliber pistols. However, these CCW licenses were all cancelled, and re-issued to authorize only up to .380 ACP caliber pistolas. Many citizens carry without a CCW license and, if caught, usually the gun is simply confiscated by the apprehending official for his own use, with no criminal charges filed. Although military caliber pistols are outlawed, many self-respecting machistas in the rural areas of the country own an illegal 38 Super caliber firearm. If found and confiscated, it is simply replaced by buying another one.

    Transportation licenses are required for transporting guns. Transportation must be with the firearm unloaded and in a locked case. There are no public shooting ranges such as in the U.S. and other countries.

    Gun licensing and legislation for US citizens, and citizens from other countries

    The US Department of State warns US citizens against taking any firearm or ammunition into Mexico without prior written authorization from the Mexican authorities. Entering Mexico with a firearm, or even a single round of ammunition stuck between the seat cushions of a pickup truck carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, even if the firearm or ammunition is taken into the country unintentionally. Furthermore even a single round of 9 mm ammunition, being a military caliber cartridge, carries even heavier jail-time penalties. The only way legally to import firearms and/or ammunition into Mexico is to secure a permit in advance from the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. or from a Mexican consulate.

  2. #2
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    These rights have subsequently been reduced somewhat through the gradual changing of constitutions and laws.
    Please note!!! Change thru stealth and attrition.

    US citizen gun owners beware. That's us folks
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    I used to wonder why the NRA fought so hard about stuff like silencers and such, now I understand. The best way to deal with the thin edge of the wedge is to break it off the moment you see it.

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  5. #4
    Member Array mcclearypl's Avatar
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    I read all the above information about the Mexican Goverenment and Police and it seems to me that being an offical in Mexaco grants the right to steal. I keep telling people if you don't like the USA pick a spot and get there. You will not be missed.
    Philip L. McCleary
    Security via CCW
    and a lot of practice
    Dispatchers have the best jobs
    we tell the police where to go and they have
    to do it. Policy manual says so.

    de N4LNE

  6. #5
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    Extremely strict, and yet lax at the same time.
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

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