President Obama visits Mexico with many issues on the table, but reinstating the ban on assault weapons in the U.S. isn’t likely to be one on which the two countries can reach agreement.
Mexican federal police officers this week display an arsenal seized near the U.S. border.
Mexican officials say criminals use assault weapons from the U.S. in the violent border region.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico’s ambassador to the U.S., say reinstating the ban would stop the deadly flow of weapons across the border.
Under the Clinton administration in 1994, Congress banned possession of 19 military-style assault weapons. The ban was allowed to expire 10 years later during the Bush administration.
Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that Obama would like to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons, noting, “I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico at a minimum.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month that as a senator, she supported a measure to reinstate it.
And the urban policy section of the White House Web site says Obama and Vice President Joe Biden “support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.”