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Advocates Start Group To Address Illicit Gun Trafficking Into Mexico

Former lawyers from the gun control advocacy organization Brady have formed a new policy venture, registering as foreign agents of the Mexican government. This new group is called Global Action on Gun Violence, and its goal is to address cross-border gun trafficking from the U.S., Politico reports. The group intends to represent foreign governments rallying against the gun industry in lobbying and litigation. It is led by Jonathan Lowy, former chief counsel at Brady who directed the organization's legal arm for years. Advocates have long shed a spotlight on the illicit trafficking of firearms into Mexico, arguing that it fuels drug trafficking. Earlier this month, Global Action on Gun Violence filed paperwork with the Justice Department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, with Lowy and Elizabeth Burke, who was also an attorney at Brady. Brady was hesitant to dive into work that would fall under the foreign influence law, said Chief Operating Officer Susan Lavington.

Lowy emphasized that he departed from Brady "amicably." He said that he views gun control as a means to address issues with cross-border drug trafficking and migration and plans to work with countries or others "affected by U.S. gun industry practices." Gun control advocates have warned that the proliferation of guns in the U.S. is fueling destabilization in Mexico, as weapons pour into the country illegally via "straw purchasers" who pass weapons to smugglers. It is estimated that there are more homicides in Mexico linked to U.S. guns than there are in the U.S. Advocates say the problem is caused by loosened U.S. export restrictions after the Trump administration moved export license oversight to the Commerce Department. Global Actions on Gun Violence filed a lawsuit in Arizona against U.S. gun dealers on behalf of Mexico this month. The lawsuit alleges that the companies have chosen to sell guns using reckless and unlawful practices, despite the foreseeability that they are helping cause deadly cartel violence across the border. Last year, Lowy and other filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mexico against U.S. gun companies, alleging that they help facilitate the illicit trafficking of guns into Mexico. A federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed the lawsuit.


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