LA Times Opinion: Mexican Criminal Groups Arm Themselves at U.S. Flea Markets

Handguns fill a display case at Red's Trading Post Feb. 12, 2008, in Twin Falls, Idaho. The gun shop, stripped of its license by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had repeated chances to fix problems but failed to, bureau inspector John Hansen testified in federal court Tuesday, …
AP/Elaine Thompson

A March 2 Los Angeles Times opinion column suggests Mexican criminal groups can arm themselves at U.S. gun shows and flea markets and calls for President Trump to fix this by instituting more gun control on Americans.

The column also suggests Mexico could build a wall between itself and the United States in order to keep U.S. guns from ending up in the hands of Mexican criminals and cartel members.

The column suggests “criminal groups in Mexico” get guns via “straw purchases” and through sales at gun shows and “flea markets” in the U.S. The column does not mention Operation Fast and Furious, in which Barack Obama’s ATF and Department of Justice allowed straw purchasers to buy more than two thousand guns which were then smuggled into Mexico. It does not mention the Mexico law enforcement officer who was killed with a Fast and Furious rifle nor does it highlight the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, who was killed with a Fast and Furious firearm as well.

But it does suggest Mexican cartel can buy guns at U.S. flea markets.

According to the Times:

Although licensed U.S. firearms dealers must conduct background checks and maintain records, among other measures, unlicensed dealers at gun shows, flea markets and other private venues may sell guns without conducting a background check, inspecting a buyer’s identification or documenting the sale in any way.

President Trump has vowed to crack down on gun trafficking — the very kind of trafficking witnessed during Fast and Furious — but the Times’s column says this is not enough. Rather, the column suggests Trump must increase gun control in the U.S. The column specifically calls for Trump to target “unregulated gun shows and online sales, bad actor gun dealers and laws that allow people to buy dozens of military-grade assault weapons and privately resell them without documentation.”

The column does not mention that straw purchasers involved in Fast and Furious bought multiple guns from licensed gun dealers, all with the intention of smuggling them into Mexico where they were passed to criminals and cartel members. These guns were purchased, smuggled, and dispersed among lawless persons in Mexico while the Obama administration quietly looked the other way.

Who needs a gun show or a flea market when you have an Obama-era ATF and DOJ?

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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