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Gun Retailers Tell Judge They Did Not Supply Mexican Cartels

Five Arizona firearm retailers appeared before a federal judge Thursday, hoping to beat back accusations that the businesses directly and intentionally supply deadly weapons to Mexican drug cartels, reports Courthouse News Service. Mexico sued the five gun stores in 2022, claiming the stores engage in illegal sales practices to aid in the trafficking of high volumes of guns and ammunition across the southern border.

While Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the world, the country nonetheless experiences among the highest rates of gun-related homicides. Of the guns recovered from crime scenes in Mexico, more can be traced back to Arizona than to any other U.S. state, according to the complaint. Mexico claims that the Arizona-based retailers named in its complaint— Diamondback Shooting Sports, SNG Tactical, Loan Prairie, Ammo AZ and Prague Sports — overlook obvious red flags that indicate that they’re selling traffickers weapons, including high-volume and repeat purchases of military-style assault rifles. The retailers moved to dismiss in January 2023, arguing that Mexico failed to state a specific and remediable claim. But Steve Shadowen, an attorney representing Mexico, countered that the damages caused by these guns is traceable to the retailers because it was “highly foreseeable” that the weapons would end up in the possession of cartels.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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