Straw Purchase of Guns

Mexican drug cartels pay “straw purchasers” in the United States up to $500 per gun for buying arms from legitimate gun stores. The straw purchases are U.S. citizens who have a clean record and can pass the criminal background checks. They purchase guns from retail stores and immediately hand over the firearms to drug cartel members.

(Prices of AK-47s and other illegal guns here.)

Source: Chris McGreal, “The US gun smugglers recruited by one of Mexico’s most brutal cartels,” Guardian, December 8, 2011.