Here is an excerpt from Christopher Sherman's article in the Houston Chronicle:
"Laredo police say they made one of their largest weapons seizures in years after pulling over a truck laden with brand new assault rifles, bayonets and ammunition that they believe was headed to Mexico... Acting on a tip from the Webb County Sheriff's Office, Laredo police stopped a vehicle containing 175 brand-new, boxed assault rifles, 200 high-capacity magazines, 53 bayonets and 10,000 rounds of ammunition. One of the two men in the vehicle tried to flee, but was apprehended, said Laredo Police Investigator Joe Baeza. Baeza said when authorities laid out the cache in a conference room of the federal building in Laredo Monday, it covered half the floor. He said it was the largest weapons seizure in a decade in the area around Laredo, which is 145 miles south of San Antonio along the U.S. border with Mexico. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the seizure, but Baeza said the presumption is the vehicle was heading to Mexico." Link to Full Article
Analysis: This story is a stark reminder of the southbound weapons trafficking problem we're dealing with. The AK-47s that were seized are high on the list of Mexican DTOs' weapons of choice. While the story doesn't say exactly where they were purchased, it's likely a straw buyer bought them through legal means over a period of time at either gun shops or gun shows in Texas. This is discouraging to gun rights' groups who assert that the claim about so many guns going to Mexico from the US is a conspiracy by left-wingers to reinstate the assault weapons ban. And it's also true that such a reinstatement would directly affect the sale of AK-47 and similar rifles within the US.
However, there is a different, "good news" aspect to this story. First of all, the weapons never made it out of the US and into Mexico. I have always asserted that the key to slowing down the southbound flow of weapons is not to implement new laws, but to enforce the ones we already have. Second, the reason law enforcement was able to catch these guns before they made it to the border is because of a simple Crime Stoppers program. Someone (likely anonymous) contacted the Webb County Sheriff's Office with information about the van and its shipment, and together with the Laredo Police Department, they were able to identify and stop the van. That's simple, good police work with the help of human sources. True, I have no idea if the person who provided the information was a rival of the intended weapons recipient, or a concerned individual who didn't want those guns getting into the wrong hands.
Regardless, I want to hear/read more stories about this sort of thing happening - law enforcement agencies working closely with gun shop owners and confidential informations to successfully stop weapons shipments like this one from ever making it to the southwest border.