In 2018, Mexico had 35,964 murders — a rate of 29 per 100,000 people. Preliminary estimates for 2018 show a US murder rate of 4.9 per 100,000. And in the first seven months of 2019, Mexico is on track to set a new record of 20,058 murders, but this preliminary number is likely a 20% underestimate.
Since 1972, Mexico has had just one gun store in the entire country. This military-run store is the only place where Mexicans can legally purchase a gun, and only 1% of Mexicans possess a license to own a firearm. The store’s prices are very expensive, and the most powerful rifle that you can buy there is only a 22 caliber. The 1% figure was told to Dr. John Lott by Mexican officials when he testified before the Mexican Senate in 2016.
But you can get another idea of how rare gun ownership in Mexico is by looking at some other numbers. Only 52,147 firearms were sold in Mexico between 2009 and 2014. With 129 million Mexicans, that means if each person who bought a gun obtained only one gun, over those five years only 0.04 percent of the population would have bought a gun. Again, assuming that each person who bought a gun only bought one gun, it would take 25 years before 1 percent of Mexicans had been able to buy a gun. If on average people who bought guns purchased two guns, it would obviously take 50 years before 1 percent of Mexicans had been able to buy a gun.
From the New York Times:
Mexico 1 Get a letter from the local authorities confirming that you do not have a criminal record. 2 Submit a letter showing your employment status and pay. 3 Pass a background check that considers criminal history, employment and current gun ownership. 4 Travel to Mexico City, where the only store authorized to sell guns is located. 5 Get fingerprinted.6Buy a gun.
But Mexico’s murder rate is more than twice what it was in 1972.
In April, Mexico’s president claimed that the situation was not getting worse.
“The data I have shows something else, you’re not controlling, to the contrary, many Mexicans continue to die,” Mr Ramos challenged the president.
“They have not risen,” President López Obrador said before adding: “I’m not saying we’ve solved the problem.”
The Mexican government has changed how they have been measuring murders.
The new measure indicates that there were 34,582 homicide victims in 2019. That is 2.5% higher than in 2018.