Some Basic Facts About Gun Control in Mexico
- Do you know it is illegal to enter Mexico with a firearm without a permit from Secretariat of National Defense? Mexican customs agents do not issue gun permits; this permit must be processed before you attempt to cross the border with any type of firearm or ammunition. Anyone entering Mexico with a firearm or ammunition without a permit could face up to five years in prison.
- All arms must be registered with the Secretariat of National Defense https://www.gob.mx/sedena in accordance with the Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives.
- The Directorate of Commercialization of Arms and Munitions (Dirección de Comercialización de Armamento y Municiones – DCAM) located in Mexico City is the only legally authorized firearms store in the country.
- The Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), is responsible for issuing licenses and operating the General Directorate for the Federal Firearms Registry and Explosives Control.
- Mexican citizens and legal foreign residents of Mexico may purchase firearms at DCAM provided they meet the qualifications.
- Citizens may own a total of 10 registered firearms (nine long guns, one handgun) per household.
- Businesses are not entitled to keep a firearm on the premises unless the business is also their residence.
- Lost or stolen firearms must be reported to the Secretariat of Defense.
- Owning a gun and carrying a firearm are two different scenarios in Mexico. You may own a registered firearm which must be kept in the home, but in order to carry it, you need a license, which is typically reserved for police, army, navy officials, some private security services and specialized sporting participants. Some rural landowners or politicians and affluent citizens, who feel they are in danger may be able to justify the need for a carry license.
- Carry firearms licenses are issued to individuals who
- are mentally and physically capable.
- provide proof of employment.
- served in the military.
- do not have a criminal record.
- do not use illegal drugs.
- demonstrate a need to carry arms.
- There are two types of carrying licenses, one for officials and one for private citizens. Officials hold their license for as long as they are in the position that required a firearms license, whereas individuals must renew their license every two years.
- Licenses to carry arms for individuals are for the exclusive use of that individual.
- Licenses may be granted to private individuals owning one or more firearms for target shooting or hunting, if the applicant is a member of a registered club or association and meets the requirements.
- Transport of firearms: gun owners who belong to hunting or shooting clubs and keep registered firearms must maintain a valid permit and renew this permit each year in order to transport the guns to and from these activities.
- The private sale and transfer of firearms must be authorized by Secretariat of National Defense. The buyer and seller must appear in person along with the weapon, to process the transaction.
Interesting fact: Mexico’s legal gun stores sold 52,147 firearms between 2009 and 2014. According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives 73,684 of the 104,850 guns which were confiscated in Mexico from 2009-2014 originated from the U.S. and were illegally smuggled into Mexico. https://www.gao.gov/assets/680/674570.pdf
Find out more about Mexico’s Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: