Legality of guns in Mexico


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Marty Hayes
February 16, 2006, 12:30 PM
Anyone know of the legality of a US citizen carrying a gun in Mexico? I have a student going there for a while, and I must admit I have never researched this question.

While I presume it would be illegal to take a gun in, could a person buy one legally while there, carrying it and then sell it before coming back accross the border?

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El Tejon
February 16, 2006, 12:41 PM
:eek:

Is your student a fed?:confused:

TrafficMan
February 16, 2006, 12:41 PM
http://www.packing.org/state/all_of_mexico/#statenote

Manedwolf
February 16, 2006, 12:44 PM
Anyone know of the legality of a US citizen carrying a gun in Mexico? I have a student going there for a while, and I must admit I have never researched this question.

While I presume it would be illegal to take a gun in, could a person buy one legally while there, carrying it and then sell it before coming back accross the border?

I think you'd be asking for a world of trouble, since the police forces there are SO corrupt.

There's whole rings going on where people buy cheap prescription drugs at pharmacies, a cop in cahoots is waiting outside to "arrest" the buyer, take them into custody, confiscate the drugs (which go back to the pharmacy to be resold again), and extort a bribe from the arrestees to be released.

Imagine what would happen if they wanted to ride you up on trumped-up charges for a gun. :scrutiny:

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 01:11 PM
I know people who have done it. There's good hunting there, for one thing.

Some things to know:

You need to get written approval from their military. Just like the US, they don't want people importing guns without approval. You can also buy a gun down there if you get the right paperwork.

There are also "transport permits" you need if you want to transport a gun to a range or to go hunting. They're available at military bases. There's a base in every town with a main street.

You need the right paperwork to bring the gun BACK to the US. A guy who works at the local range/shop was hired by their military to get rid of a population of feral goats on a little island. He took an SU-16. On the way down, the Mexican customs guy really admired how it would fold up, and how the foreend popped out to become a bipod. On the way back up, said customs agent took it. The varmint hunter didn't get the proper paperwork to return the gun to the US, and the Mexican customs guy made sure not to tell him he needed it. He wanted the rifle for himself if he could get it. The fact that the hunter was HIRED by a military officer and paid by the Mexican Army didn't matter.

I'd talk to a lawyer in Mexico before doing anything. Some claim you can get a CCW, even, if you jump through the right hoops. And the Mexican Constitution does protect the right to keep and bear arms for protection of one's home, but only sort of. It also says you need a military permit.

Also, without the proper permits, you can get into big trouble for having even one spent shell in your car. That's a problem for me, because there's often a spent .22 or 12 Gauge shell somewhere under the seats or carpet of my Jeep. I don't know how they even get there.

BE CAREFUL!

Zen21Tao
February 16, 2006, 01:35 PM
I read some info off packing.org and find it rather hypocritical that the Mexicans are so tough on inforcing laws against US citizens bringing a firearm or even a single round of ammo into Mexico (even unintentially) but they won't even keep their own military personel from crossing the border armmed to help drug smugglers.

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 01:51 PM
I read some info off packing.org and find it rather hypocritical that the Mexicans are so tough on inforcing laws against US citizens bringing a firearm or even a single round of ammo into Mexico (even unintentially) but they won't even keep their own military personel from crossing the border armmed to help drug smugglers.

ROTFLMAO!

Hypocrisy? Is that even a word in Mexican Spanish?

Certainly it's not something that occurs to their corrupt government officials and law enforcement officers.

Man, that's funny. If you ever visit here, I'll take you down there (if you pay for the car insurance).

p35bhp09
February 16, 2006, 02:58 PM
I lived there a short while ago. Wouldn't recomend even trying. Mexican police and military and police are corrupt as hell not to mention it is already illegal to begin with. Even mexican citizens cant own anything larger than I believe a 38 but don't quote me. As for getting permission you have a better chance of getting a concealed license in Hawaii than getting permission to carry for protection in Mexico. The hunters can get permission but I think there are stipulations.

Sam Adams
February 16, 2006, 06:48 PM
My wife is from Mexico and has lots of family down there, so we visit fairly often. One of her uncles is extremely wealthy and has a national permit to carry and owns full auto guns (he obviously knew who to bribe with how much). His son owns a couple of .45s (though he has to keep them at the range, and only has a .380 at home). I know this because I've seen the full auto and shot one of the .45s in an informal competition against the 3-star Mexican general in charge of the Presidential Guard (and, BTW, I kicked his arse but good - he asked my wife's cousin if I was an FBI agent, which made me feel like a million bucks).

My brother-in-law came here with his family a couple months ago, and it was a very great pleasure to take him shooting. I purposely brought along a some guns that he cannot own in Mexico (9mm, .45, AR in .223), and made of point of asking if he'd like to rent one of the 6 full autos that the range owns. He asked about licenses and the gun laws here (TX), and I told him that I could own whatever I'd like, in whatever numbers I'd like, so long as I had enough money to pay for it - even full autos, because it is ridiculously easy to get around the LEO signoff requirement (just for a corporation to own the guns). His eyes bugged out when I told him how many guns I had, and showed him my AR, Garand and M1A rifles (and told him what the latter 2 were - literal weapons of war, except about the M1A not being full auto). His reaction to that, plus my carrying of a .45 everywhere we went, made me appreciate the freedom we have here (much as I appreciated it after escaping from the PRNJ 5 years ago).

Anyhow, I don't want so much to bring a gun into Mexico as to bring out my father-in-law's gun (he died about 3 years ago). I think that it'd be neat to have a gun not papered in the US, to say nothing of giving the gun as a gift to my son from his grandfather (for whom he was named) when he gets old enough. I thought about driving down there on a visit, then concealing the gun (unloaded and without any ammo in the car) under a seat or even in the undercarriage of the car somewhere. After all, I reasoned, why would the Mexican authorities inspect me on the way out? Long story short - I decided against it, because it isn't worth the potential prison time to bring home a $200 revolver. I'd love to give it to my son, but risking 5 or more years in a Mexican prison to do that is rather stupid. Oh well, chalk up a small victory for the statist anti-gun bastiches.

wdlsguy
February 16, 2006, 07:31 PM
Anyhow, I don't want so much to bring a gun into Mexico as to bring out my father-in-law's gun (he died about 3 years ago).

You might be able to do it legally. Sounds like your uncle has enough pull to handle the Mexican end of the situation. I believe your end would require an FFL willing to submit an ATF Form 6 (http://www.atf.gov/forms/pdfs/f53303a.pdf) for you.

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 07:35 PM
I'm sure there are plenty of tunnels you can use to cross the border... Just find one.

Art Eatman
February 16, 2006, 07:36 PM
A Gringo caught in Mexico with even a round of .22 ammo is easily looking at five years in a Mexican jail. Even if you're rich and can hire good lawyers, you're looking at months of hassle.

Once in Mexico, that student might be able to bribe the right folks to get the paperwork to be able to own some firearm. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

It used to be possible to arrange to take your own rifle or shotgun into Mexico to hunt. It was readily arranged through any Mexican Consulate. It probably still is legally possible to do that, but I'd worry a lot once in Mexico unless you're with somebody from the hunting ranch. Many of the hunting ranches down there now provide rifles and shotguns for their clientele for just that reason.

Mexico does not allow any firearm which uses military ammo. .45ACP, 9mm Para, .223, 7.62x39, .308, .30-'06: All illegal. Maybe even 7mm and 8mm Mauser.

Art

ArmedBear
February 16, 2006, 07:40 PM
Let's just say that a trip to Mexico makes you REALLY appreciate the rule of law, even when our laws aren't perfect.

c_yeager
February 16, 2006, 08:32 PM
If he speaks spanish, knows the customs, and has enough money to grease the wheels a bit, I would bet that he could get legal permission to carry. Otherwise, it aint gonna happen.

Zen21Tao
February 16, 2006, 09:45 PM
ROTFLMAO!

Hypocrisy? Is that even a word in Mexican Spanish?

Certainly it's not something that occurs to their corrupt government officials and law enforcement officers.

Man, that's funny. If you ever visit here, I'll take you down there (if you pay for the car insurance).

I really appreciate the offer but forgive me if I want to keep as far away as possible from the peoples republic of **********. :D

horge
February 16, 2006, 09:56 PM
Hi Marty :)

Since you are planning to possess a weapon bought IN Mejico,
there is technically some refuge under Articulo 27 of that country's
Ley Federal de Armas de Fuego y Explosicos

If you want just a home-defense firearm, then Capitulo II of the same
document ("Posesión de armas en el domicilio") lays out the basic requirements,
and several parts of the document, particularly the firearm list in Articulo 11,
effectively restrict you to .380 ACP caliber maximum for handguns. An escopeta
mightmake more sense, depending on where you'll be staying, though.

I doubt you can get a carry license, even though Articulo 27 exists to enable it
for foreigners:


"A los extranjeros sólo se les podrá autorizar la portación de armas cuando,
además de satisfacer los requisitos señalados en el artículo anterior,
acrediten su calidad de inmigrados, salvo el caso del permiso de licencia
temporal para turistas con fines deportivos."


I doubt it because the license requisites listed under the prior Articulo 26 are
extensive and seem difficult to meet/document for a tourist or other
short/medium term visitor. But hey, I'm just guessing at how long you WILL be
staying.... and besides, money talks in many parts of the world, so who knows?

Technically, yes:
You can come in, buy/license, possess, and sell the weapon before you leave.
However, the lead times on required paperwork might be a problem
IANAM, JM2P, YMMV...


hth
horge

CAPTAIN MIKE
February 16, 2006, 10:00 PM
I thought the only persons legally allowed to own / possess firearms in Mexico were corrupt politicians, police officers (corrupt or not), corrupt judicial officials, everyday criminals and of course drug dealers. Is that not correct?

horge
February 16, 2006, 10:17 PM
I thought the only persons legally allowed to own / possess firearms in Mexico were corrupt politicians, police officers (corrupt or not), corrupt judicial officials, everyday criminals and of course drug dealers. Is that not correct?

:D

Mejico is understandably strict about folks bringing/smuggling in firearms
or explosives. So is the United States, IIRC.

Buying/licensing/owning a firearm in Mejico is a somewhat different matter.
While Mejico's gun laws are more restrictive, and the enforcement thereof
is not as efficient/transparent as Americans might be used to, they are
there nonetheless, and AFAICT, many common Mejicanos do own pistolas,
revolveres, escopetas and rifles for defensive, sporting and hunting use.

Firearm ownership does not appear to be as widespread as in the United States,
but I don't have hard figures. It is almost certainly not as widespread there as it is
in, say, the Philippines. Perhaps firearm prices are a factor, or licensing procedures are
tedious... I'm just guessing. After all...


IANAM, nor do I play one on a televovela.
;)

horge

Standing Wolf
February 16, 2006, 10:45 PM
If I ever wanted to go to Mexico, I'd just go to Los Angeles and skip the higher air fare.

mp510
February 16, 2006, 11:00 PM
Contact this guy: elqueseaa@hotmail.com From what I heard on packing.org he is a lawyer in Mexico. I have emailed him before, regarding other weapons and he promptly emailed me back. His English is excellent, and that's what he would prefer you contact him with (I contacted him with my "less than perfect" Spanish, and he said that English was preferable in his response) I have never traveled to Mexico, so I have no clue as to the accuracy of what he told me, sooooooo I can't be liable for anything that results from your use of the info that I will post. It was his response to my email regarding other weapons (knives, air guns, electronic defensive weapons).

i didnt undestaded you completely but i think that what i did undestanded
must do good. there is barely or non if im not mistaken about air gun
regulations, but for the knives and electonic devices there is non. i'd
ratter see your message in english to undertand it better.

Hawkmoon
February 17, 2006, 02:07 AM
You consider THAT to be excellent English?

roscoe
February 17, 2006, 02:21 AM
There is a Mexican national who is a member here - he seemed to know the scoop. I think he had a post in revolvers, or handguns, last I saw.

As I recollect, he said that it was easy for nationals to own handguns - .38 caliber or under . They just had to be registered at the Army station. I don't think you need proof of purchase, or anything like that. Rifles, I understand, are harder to own. He attributed it to a fear of revolution. We are talking about Mexico, after all.

Sungun09
February 17, 2006, 10:27 AM
Why so few guns ??

Marty Hayes
February 17, 2006, 12:05 PM
Thank-you for your replies everyone. We can let this one die...

mp510
February 17, 2006, 12:53 PM
You consider THAT to be excellent English?
It's a heck of a lot better than my Spanish, and compared to the English spoken by many immigrants, yes I consider that to be 'excellent'. Yes, I did copy and past his email to me verbatim. At worst, his English is understandable.

V4Vendetta
February 17, 2006, 01:38 PM
is one of the reasons I will NEVER go to Mexico. It might be pretty in some areas but I wouldn't want to go. Next to the drug operations down there, kidnapping is the number two illegal business. Someone is kidnapped every 30 minutes & the things they do to folks who won't pay or can't* pay, the MPAA won't let them show in our R rated films. I believe that says something in a culture where movies like "Saving Private Ryan", "The Godfather" & such are very gorey and yet they are very popular movies. One guy in Mexico, got both of his ears sliced off:what: . They were reattached later when he was rescued but you must know that the kidnappers didn't give him any morphine or such when they removed his ears.

As far as the police are concerned, I'm reminded of a quote from "Key Largo". "Those who aren't bought are intimidated. Those who weren't intimidated were murdered." I read on www.crimelibrary.com once where one city in Mexico went without a sheriff for several months because no one wanted the job. One guy decided that he wasn't scared so he took the job. Just 6 hours later he was leaving the office to go home. They parked in front of him so he couldn't go anywhere & shot him over 200 times. The killers have yet to be arrested.:rolleyes:


*That's me.

LAR-15
February 17, 2006, 09:50 PM
A lot of hunting shows are filmed on Mexican ranches due to the big mule deer down there.

LAR-15
February 17, 2006, 09:52 PM
You might be able to do it legally. Sounds like your uncle has enough pull to handle the Mexican end of the situation. I believe your end would require an FFL willing to submit an ATF Form 6 (http://www.atf.gov/forms/pdfs/f53303a.pdf) for you.


That might work depending on what the handgun is (whether it complies with US import laws)

Sam Adams
February 21, 2006, 04:52 PM
You might be able to do it legally. Sounds like your uncle has enough pull to handle the Mexican end of the situation. I believe your end would require an FFL willing to submit an ATF Form 6 for you.

Thanks, but since I wouldn't want ATF to know about that gun, I don't think that I'll be pursuing this option. Since it is probably illegal otherwise, on both sides of the border, it just isn't worth it to me.

ArmedBear
February 21, 2006, 04:56 PM
It's probably telling that San Diego hunters who go down there regularly have special guns to do it with. Generally, these are used 1100's and 870's, acquired as cheaply as possible, so it's not big deal if they're confiscated.

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