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Guns are being smuggled across US-Mexico border in small amounts to avoid detection

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Research shows that gun smugglers have taken to trafficking weapons across the U.S.-Mexico border in small batches so as to avoid detection and seizures by the authorities.

In its Global Study on Firearms Trafficking, published on Tuesday, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that so-called “ant trafficking,” as the phenomenon of using smaller-scale shipments is known, accounted for 60-70% of all weapons intercepted at the border, with nearly half of these comprising a single firearm.

While the report states that individual smugglers are generally unaffiliated with a particular organised crime group, the pattern speaks to a trend of ‘straw purchasing’, in which such syndicates recruit people without any criminal record, and who are therefore less likely to be stopped, to purchase the guns in the U.S. before discretely transporting them into Mexico.