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By Anastasia Austin, InsightCrime
August 24, 2022

New legislation in the United States seeks to close several loopholes that have helped arms trafficking to proliferate. But can it really help reduce the number of illegal weapons flowing south to Mexico and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean?

The Frame or Receiver Final Rule will take effect in the United States on August 24. Announced in April, the executive action seeks to crack down on “ghost guns,” and its implementation will begin on the heels of the more expansive and binding Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. US President Joe Biden signed it into law in June, expressing hope that it would limit gun violence by addressing a loophole that allowed cracking down on unregulated private sales and targeting straw buyers, a term referring to individuals who buy weapons legally and then send them to Mexico.

However, this legislation has the potential for impact far beyond the United States. Arms trafficking is one of the main drivers of Latin America and the Caribbean’s consistently rising homicide rates as it makes high-caliber weapons available to civilians.

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