He says some semi-automatic weapons can be converted to full automatic, but only by someone with expertise.
"There are guns that are, apparently, easier to convert than others, but not without a good bit of knowledge," Wagnon explained. "I certainly have no idea who is out there doing that sort of thing."
International security analyst Fred Burton, who works for Stratfor (Strategic Forecasting) in Austin, says gun store purchases probably account for very few of the weapons used in Mexico crimes.
"If you think about the volume of weapons the narcos [narcotics traffickers] have in their possession any time there is a bust, what you see is an extraordinary number of automatic weapons of Chinese manufacture, Russian manufacture and you do see some weapons that have been stolen or purchased illegally here in the United States," Burton Mexican military cited as gun source
He says many of the U.S. guns in criminal hands come from the Mexican military, which has a high rate of desertion.
"You have soldiers defecting with not only issued military weapons, it could be issued ammunition, issued grenades," he said.
German Torres Jimenez, aka "Z-25", of 'Los Zetas' drug cartel, is presented to the press at Command Centre in Mexico City, 25 Apr 2009
Many guns used by Mexican soldiers come from direct commercial sales by American companies, approved by the U.S. State Department, something Burton says should be examined more closely.
"I think that is going to be an issue as we look at some of the foreign aid initiatives into Mexico," Burton said, "meaning what are we issuing to them, what are we selling the Mexican government and where are the weapons going?"
No system for tracing, identifying guns
Initial claims that 90 percent of guns used by criminals in Mexico came from the United States turned out to be based on faulty data analysis. The real figure is probably less than half, but hard to determine because there is no coordinated system between Mexico and the United States for tracing and identifying guns.
That is something Mexican Consul Roberto Rodriguez says should be addressed.
"We need to find a way to cooperate with each other in order to trace the guns in a proper way," Rodriguez said.
He says talks are under way between the two nations on how to establish a better system for law enforcement agencies in each country to share information on guns with each other.
It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses
7 years 16 weeks ago, 6:23 PM