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Legality of guns in Mexico

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Marty Hayes, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Marty Hayes

    Marty Hayes Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member


    Is your student a fed?:confused:
  3. TrafficMan

    TrafficMan Well-Known Member

  4. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

    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:
  5. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    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.

  6. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member


    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).
  8. p35bhp09

    p35bhp09 Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    I'm sure there are plenty of tunnels you can use to cross the border... Just find one.
  12. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    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.

  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Let's just say that a trip to Mexico makes you REALLY appreciate the rule of law, even when our laws aren't perfect.
  14. c_yeager

    c_yeager Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Well-Known Member

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

    horge Well-Known Member

    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...


    CAPTAIN MIKE Well-Known Member

    Hey, Wait Just a Minute Hombre...

    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?
  18. horge

    horge Well-Known Member


    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.

  19. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    If I ever wanted to go to Mexico, I'd just go to Los Angeles and skip the higher air fare.
  20. mp510

    mp510 Well-Known Member

    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).


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