Today the Wall Street Journal wrote about the escalating violence near the border and now there seems to be all this fear that it will spill over into the US and they (they that are in power) are talking about sending troops to beef up security.
I am sure if you are thinking about a trip to Mexico or Central America you are also thinking about violence and other safety issues and many people write in asking about taking a gun.
First of all you should know that you may go to prison even if you were not aware of the Mexican law if your get caught with a firearm—I have taken them before, I used to hide them under the hood of the car or in a secrete department—but this was back in the day when I didn’t feel I needed instant access to the weapon.
Is it better to die at the hands of a criminal or go to jail alive?
Hell, the police in northern Mexico can’t even protect themselves these days, do you think they are going to be able to protect you?
I have to say that the recent violence makes me think twice about my original “don’t take a gun” recommendation.
Still, I think it is a risk and I am not sure you’d be able to out-gun a bad situation in Mexico—but then again, with a firearm you’d have a chance.
Be aware of the Red Light/Green Light as you cross the border, because you can still be randomly selected for secondary inspection.
If you get a green continue to pass through, but if you get a red light, or a customs official flags you over for a secondary inspection, drive to location as identified by the officials.
They will generally want to look into your trunk and inside the vehicle to see if you are bringing anything that should have been declared.
This usually takes only few seconds and the search is rarely DEEP into the vehicle.
If you did not declare something that you should have, depending upon the items you may have to pay the required duty, pay a fine, risk getting your merchandise confiscated, or go to jail (or more likely pay a bribe).