Politics & Government

To keep guns out of Mexico, Texas lawmakers propose checkpoint

AUSTIN — Some Texas lawmakers, tired of cash and guns illegally making their way into Mexico and fueling violence in the northern part of the country, say they think they know how to help.

They are proposing southbound checkpoints where Texas law enforcers can stop vehicles about to cross the border and look for guns, cash and drugs.

"We need to be engaged in this issue," said Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, who has filed a bill to create southbound checkpoints, as has Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen.

"It's going to take a strong effort on both ends to stop the violence," Hinojosa has said.

Both bills were heard by the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday and were left pending.

This effort comes after records showed that one of the guns found at the scene of a deadly drug cartel ambush in Mexico in February was bought at a gun show in Fort Worth. The semiautomatic Draco AK-47, legally sold by the Off-Duty Armory sporting goods store at the Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibits Hall, was found after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata was killed and his partner was wounded.

The concept of checkpoints to prevent more guns, cash and drugs from flowing into Mexico drew mixed reactions Wednesday.

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