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Farewell to arms (imports)?

20 May 2022

A quicky machine translation from Proceso:

MEXICO CITY (appro).- The Secretary of National Defense (Sedena), Luis Cresencio Sandoval González, announced that the possibility of the institution manufacturing weapons for state police in the country is being analyzed.

In this way, control of the institutional arsenal can be guaranteed and the dependency they have on foreign companies that sell long and short weapons, as well as ammunition for police corporations in the 32 entities that make up Mexico, can be avoided, he said.

“There is a project within our military industry that in this administration has increased the capabilities of our military industry and we have thought as a project that at some point, once all the infrastructure in Oriental, Puebla is completed, we could do the analysis to have the possibility of manufacturing weapons, as we currently do for our institution”, explained the military chief.

In the morning conference, Sandoval González said that in the event that the weapons manufacturing project in Sedena materializes, the main objective will be arms control and cut dependence on foreign manufacturers that sometimes take up to a year to supply requests from the Mexican government.

There might be some real benefits to this… besides reducing dependence on foreign imports. Mexico had a munitions industry up into the 1970s and was known for innovative and particular lethal arms: the “automatic rifle” (grand-daddy of the AK-47 and M-16) are just variants on the Mondragon 1910 gas-powered rifle that saw use from the First World War up through its use by some units of the Viet Cong in the 1970s); the Obregon rotating pistol; the Trejo pistol (Trejo is still in business, making tricycles and farm machinery) taken out of production because it was too good.

So it’s not like the technical ability isn’t here, and like it or not (and no one does) there is going to be a need for some people to have some firearms.

But controlling the manufacturing might have some advantages. Mexico¡s lawsuit against US arms manufacturers seems to have dropped off the radar, and might not go anywhere. HOWEVER, if Mexico’s legitimate market is limited to those manufactured by the state, there is no reason to allow the import of ANY foreign weaponry, one assumes, “legitimate” imports being diverted accounts for at least a percentage of the illegal weaponry floating around. And, there would be nothing to making the only legitimate weapons in Mexico incompatible with foreign weapons (I donno… different sized ammunition?) could make it more difficult for those with “off-the-books” weaponry to use them.

It might be worth the risk.

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