Eight percent is a far cry from the 90 percent that the administration had been wanting to claim, and considering that there are more than 6,600 licensed dealers in the border region, it means (statistically speaking) just over one gun per licensed dealer has found it’s way across the border.
McMahon’s testimony does not state how these guns from licensed dealers made their way across the border, but there are only really two options.
There have been arrests of a handful of licensed dealers for knowingly selling dozens of firearms to cartel frontmen. While there are certainly others dealing to cartel members, that cannot account for the majority of weapons sold. The relatively low number of dealer arrests and alleged activity seem to indicate that illegal strawman purchases account for most of the acquisitions. People with no criminal record who can pass the FBI’s instant background check system (NICS) are recruited to buy firearms from dealers, and then turn the firearms over to individuals procuring weapons for the cartels. Even then, guns purchased via licensed dealers only account for 44 percent of the total.
The majority of American weapons that find their way into the hands of Mexican drug cartels come from stolen weapons, or firearms that were obtained in person-to-person sales without a licensed gun dealer being involved. These person-to-person sales are often erroneously cited as evidence of a “gun show loophole” in the media, because person-to-person sales frequently take place at these venues (licensed dealers must perform NICS background checks, whether they are at a gun show or they are at their storefront location). The fact of the matter, however, is that these sales can legally take place nearly anywhere guns are not specifically banned.
Don’t expect the Obama administration, the gun control groups he used to finance as a director of the anti-gun Joyce Foundation, or the media to make too much of Deputy Assistant Director McMahon’s debunking of their talking point.
Like so much of the left-wing agenda, gun control isn’t about honesty.