Mexico asks US Congress to renew ban on assault weapons

Updated: 2016-08-23 09:37


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MEXICO CITY - Mexico's Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu on Monday asked the US Congress to restrict the sale of assault weapons as "they cause harm on both sides of the border."

Ruiz Massieu made this call at the Second Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to a statement by the Foreign Ministry, Ruiz Massieu said Mexico "places the highest priority" on this matter, as the country has suffered from the illegal arms trade, with assault weapons often legally bought from gun shops across the border in the US and transported illegally to Mexico.

During her speech, the minister said "our country prioritizes closing access to gun smugglers and those who irresponsibly bring in guns in search of an immediate economic benefit."

She added that Mexico is prey to some of the most delicate and urgent situations facing the international community, namely the illegal trafficking and sales of guns, and the violence linked to this.

The US first passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, under the presidency of Bill Clinton. However, the ban expired in 2004 and has never been renewed, despite multiple attempts to do so.