Trucker Accidentally Transporting Ammo to Mexico Highlights Inequity in Laws

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Trucker Accidentally Transporting Ammo to Mexico Highlights Inequity in Laws

USA –-( “Mexican federal prosecutors will press charges against the U.S. trucker who may have accidentally crossed into Juárez with 268,000 rounds of ammunition last week, a source familiar with the investigation said Monday,” the El Paso Times reports today.

The driver, who took a wrong turn and ended up on the Bridge of the Americas, and who was reportedly told by an officer that the only way to turn around was to cross the Mexican border, “could face between four and 15 years in prison if charged with possession, and between 10 and 25 years if charged with introduction.”

This is hardly the same treatment given to Mexicans last year when “military trucks…loaded down with soldiers and weapons” ended up on the U.S. side of the border.


It’s also not the first time a case of negligently transporting ammunition to Mexico has created severe legal problems, in this case, a lifetime disability on the “prohibited persons” list for Thomas Lamar Bean. As reported by the Associated Press, Bean was “a licensed federal firearms dealer when he was arrested in Mexico in March 1998. Before crossing the border for dinner, he had ordered his associates to remove any guns or ammunition from the vehicle, but more than 200 bullets in an armrest tray were overlooked. Bean spent 5 months in a Mexican prison before he was returned to the U.S. as part of a prisoner exchange program, then spent another month in a federal lockup.”

But that wasn’t the end of it.  Because he had a foreign felony conviction on his record, he became a “prohibited person” under U.S. law.  While Gov. Rick Perry restored Bean’s rights under Texas law, the federal proscription remains.  Thanks to Democrat budget appropriations finagling, ATF is prohibited from using any funds to process applications to restore “felon” rights, and to make matters even more “Catch-22” bizarre, the U.S. Supreme Court then ruled “Inaction by ATF does not amount to a ‘denial’.”

In other words, unless Congress removes the prohibition, Americans convicted of foreign felonies are out of luck.  A John F. Kennedy quote comes to mind.

Still not satisfied with this outrageous state of rights deprivation is Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who sought to nail the coffin shut with her “No Firearms for Foreign Felons Act of 2009” (which, thankfully, is assessed to have “a 0% chance of being enacted”  in the current Congress ) . And while Feinstein promised that foreign convictions violating U.S. due process or based on conduct that is legal under U.S. law would be exempt, who among us would have the resources to test that, and see how far the “protections” would extend, especially against a federal government notorious for using its virtually unlimited resources to impose its will, and to wage “economic Wacos” against easy-to-impoverish citizens of severely limited means?

About David Codrea

David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at

David Codrea