Here is an excerpt from Jerry Seper's article in the Washington Times:
"The former head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection called Monday for the U.S. to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons and take other measures to rein in the war between Mexico and its drug cartels, saying the violence has the potential to bring down legitimate rule in that country. Former CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner also called for the United States to more aggressively investigate U.S. gun sellers and tighten security along its side of the border, describing the situation as 'critical' to the safety of people in both countries, whether they live near the border or not... He said some studies have shown that many of the weapons obtained by Mexican drug traffickers come from the U.S., and much of their funding comes from U.S. drug sales. He called for U.S. authorities to begin more aggressive investigations of U.S. gun sellers and to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons... At least three other efforts to pass new legislation banning the weapons have not been successful. In February, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. said the ban should be reinstated, but Mr. Obama has since said he would not push its reinstatement even though it 'made sense.'" Link to Full Article
Analysis: I usually don't like to re-hash old blog posts and analyses, but in this case, I don't think the issue of the potential reinstatement of an assault weapons ban can be explained too much. It seems to me that many people are under the impression that DTO enforcers only use assault weapons when they kill people, and that is NOT the case. Yes, they do like some types of assault weapons that they legally buy in the US through straw purchasers, but I'm still convinced that reinstating the ban won't make that much of a dent in the southbound weapons flow problem, or in the levels of violence in Mexico. Here's my analysis from April 2009, in response to an article called "Obama gets gun shy.":"I'm not a firearms expert, so take my analysis knowing that. However, I was able to do some common sense research, and I came to the conclusion that renewing the assault weapons ban would probably not accomplish much by way of stemming the flow of weapons from the US into Mexico.
"The verbiage in the 1994 legislation identifies 19 firearms that qualify as assault weapons under the ban. The legislation also details the features that certain weapons have that also qualify them as assault weapons, but for brevity's sake, I'll stick to the 19 named firearms. They include the Uzi; Steyr AUG; Galil; FN/FAL, FN/FAR, and FNC; North China Industries 56, 84, 86, 320, AKM, and AKS; Polytechnologies AK-47, AK-47/S, AKS; Mitchell Arms AK; SWD M-10, M-11, M-11/9, and M-12; Colt AR-15; Intratec TEC-9, TEC-DC9, and TEC-22; Beretta AR-70; and the Street Sweeper/Striker 12 (including USAS 12). The majority of these firearms are 5.56 caliber, although assault rifle calibers can range from 5.45mm to 7.62mm.
"So what kinds of firearms are going to Mexico? The ATF has analyzed firearms recovered in Mexico from 2005-2008 and has identified the following weapons most commonly used by Mexican DTOs: 9mm pistols; .38-caliber revolvers; 5.7mm pistols; .223-caliber rifles; 7.62mm rifles; and .50 caliber rifles. Specifically, certain DTOs are fond of the Fabrique Nationale (FN) FiveSeven pistol and the FN-P90, as well as the Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle.
"As most anyone can tell, most of the weapons on the original 1994 ban list are not the ones going to Mexico. Yes, the AK-47 (pictured) and the AR-15 are very popular with the DTOs. However, as I've previously posted, you don't need a whole AK-47 from the manufacturer to get an AK-47, as parts kits for assault weapons are legally available in the US. According to the Impact Guns Online Superstore website, "[parts] kits are what's left from real AK-47, or AK-47 rifles that were cut in half to destroy them as weapons. Those parts are legal to import since they are not a gun. They are a great inexpensive source of spare parts for your AK, since many AK-47 parts are interchangeable between models. These kits are also made back into legal rifles in the US with American made receivers and semi automatic trigger parts. This is a fun project for those who can do it, but it takes lots of tools and knowledge of metalworking to do a good job. Many of the AK-47 rifles you'll see at a [US] Gun Shop or Gun Show will have been made from these parts kits." The kits and parts for other assault weapons, such as the AR-15, can be legally purchased on numerous websites that are US-based.
"So, bottom line, between non-assault weapons, legal parts kits, and the straw purchase method, renewing the assault weapons ban - or enacting other types of gun control laws - would serve more as window dressing than an actual deterrent to the southbound flow of guns."
Another thing that is VERY important to remember is that DTOs are relying more heavily on military-grade weapons, like grenade launchers, hand grenades, and sniper rifles. These types of weapons not only wouldn't fall within an assault weapons ban, but they're not even purchased by DTO reps in the US. Long story short, a weapons ban would likely be yet another ineffective attempt by the Obama Administration to look like it's doing something - anything - to help the Mexico situation.