TUCSON, Ariz. -- text" title="Examining The Numbers" align="left" >
Number of all guns submitted to ATF that came from or passed through the U.S. before ending up in Mexico were:
The United States released its data Thursday on the number of guns seized by police in Mexico that came from this country.
The numbers show that between 2007 and 2011, Mexico turned over more than 99,000 guns to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing. Of those, 68,000 came from the U.S. American authorities could not determine where the remaining one-third came from.
The ATF notes that criminals used rifles more than any other type of gun, especially the AK-47 and AR-15 variants.
Tom Mangan is the ATF spokesman in Phoenix.
"A lot of the criminal organizations are looking for specific types of firearms. That report shows the cartels need for high powered rifles," Mangan said.
Mangan said Mexico has not told the U.S. how many guns were actually seized in that five year period. In prior years, both news media reports and ATF officials had stated that 90 percent of the guns used in crimes in Mexico came from the U.S.
However, ATF and Government Accountability Office officials later backtracked the number, saying the percentage only reflects the guns the ATF was allowed to examine.