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Mexico sues US gun makers over arms trafficking: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: BBC

Mexican officials have complained for years that liberal U.S. gun control was responsible for devastating bloodshed in Mexico. On Wednesday, they filed a suit in an American court against 10 gun companies.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Massachusetts, was the first time that a national government has sued gun makers in the United States. The suit accuses the companies of actively facilitating the flow of weapons to powerful drug cartels. It alleged that 70 per cent of guns traced in Mexico have found come from the United States.

Mexico has strict laws regulating the sale and private use of guns, and the nation's drug trafficking groups often arm themselves with American weapons.

The lawsuit alleges that units of Smith&Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Colt's Manufacturing Company, Glock Inc, Sturm, Ruger & Co and others knew their business practices had encouraged illegal arms trafficking into Mexico.

The lawsuit is one of the boldest steps ever taken by Mexico to pressure the U.S. arms industry, which Mexican leaders have for years blamed for fueling gang violence.

Companies need to put an immediate stop to their harmful practices. A Mexican official told that the lawsuit sought an estimated $10 billion although the court would decide what damages should be paid.

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