The president of Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Alejandro Moreno “Alito”, said that his party will present an initiative in Congress to modify the Federal Weapons Law to allow civilians access to higher caliber firearms than what is currently allowed by law as a means to better defend themselves against organized crime.
“(Our intention) is to give Mexican families easier access to the higher calibers so they may defend and protect their homes, their businesses, their own lives as well as other who are unarmed. Criminals today come into their homes and places of business killing men and women who cannot properly defend themselves because there is no legal means available today, “said Moreno.
“Alito” mentioned that the proposal will establish that for civilians to have access to such weapons, they must first go through a background check.
“In the absence of a state of security here in Mexico, it is time for people to be able to defend their home, business, their street and their family, because today they are being murdered with impunity,” he declared.
In the press conference, he commented that the initiative will include a provision to allow members of the military to take their weapons home with them when off-duty to be able to defend themselves against crime.
“I say this with a clear understanding of the seriousness of what I propose, and above all because what this country is going through cannot continue. The insecurity from crime is ripping this country apart in pieces and has stalled all economic growth (…) and why we will propose a new law that beginning with a designated rank, all members of the Armed Forces, the National Guard, the Army, the Air Force and the Navy will be able to take their weapons home with them when off-duty to be able to defend themselves and help stop organized crime,” he said.
The Diputado (equivalent to a U.S. Representative) also commented that the intention of the proposal is to give members of the military means to defend themselves, stating that they are at times targets when off-duty, kidnapped and murdered.
“We know that many militants are later kidnapped, killed in their free time, they wait for them, follow them and capture them for doing their job, so we want them to be permanently armed as happens in the majority of the armed forces and police in the world to take care of them and that they can take care of us”, he mentioned.
Article 10 of the Mexican Constitution empowers all habitants of Mexico to possess firearms at home for security and self-defense, with possession of the firearm restricted to their home and meeting Federal guidelines as to caliber restrictions.
According to the Federal Law on Firearms and Explosives, it is the responsibility of anyone who owns a firearm to register it with the Secretary of National Defense.
Article 9 of the Federal Firearms and Explosives Law states:
“Firearms with the following characteristics may be possessed or carried, under the terms and with the limitations established by this Law: Semi-automatic pistols with a caliber not exceeding .380 (9mm.), with the exception of .38 Super caliber pistols. and .38 Commando, and also in 9mm calibers. the Mausser, Luger, Parabellum and Comando, as well as similar models of the same caliber of those excepted, of other brands. Revolvers in calibers not higher than .38 Special, except for the caliber .357 Magnum.
“Members of ejidos, farm workers and others outside of urban areas may possess and carry any of the firearms previously mentioned as well as a .22 caliber rifle or shotgun up to 12 gauge with a 635 mm or longer.”