I have lived and grown up in Mexico for most of my life. I have always known firearms to be illegal here, as well as everyone I know. But just today, I came across this article on Wikipedia, (Gun politics in Mexico). According to the 1857 Constitution and also the 1917 Constitution, you're allowed to bear firearms.

Artículo 10: Todo hombre tiene derecho de poseer y portar armas para su seguridad y legítima defensa. La ley señalará cuáles son las prohibidas y la pena en que incurren los que las portaren.

Article 10: Every man has the right to have and to carry arms for his security and legitimate defense. The law will indicate which arms are prohibited and the penalty for those that will carry prohibited arms.

– Constitution of 1857

Artículo 10: Los habitantes de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos tienen derecho a poseer armas en su domicilio, para seguridad y legítima defensa, con excepción de las prohibidas por la ley federal y de las reservadas para el uso exclusivo del Ejército, Armada, Fuerza Aérea y Guardia Nacional. La ley federal determinará los casos, condiciones, requisitos y lugares en que se podrá autorizar a los habitantes la portación de armas.

Article 10: The inhabitants of the United Mexican States have a right to arms in their homes, for security and legitimate defense, with the exception of arms prohibited by federal law and those reserved for the exclusive use of the Army, Navy, Air Force and National Guard. Federal law will determine the cases, conditions, requirements, and places in which the carrying of arms will be authorized to the inhabitants.

– Constitution of 1917

So it's according to the Constitution, it is legal?

Here is what the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives states you can have.

  • pistolas (handguns) of .380 Auto or .38 Special revolvers or smaller (.357 Magnum and 9x19mm Parabellum or larger are restricted)
  • escopetas (shotguns) of 12 gauge or smaller, with barrels longer than 25 inches, and
  • rifles (rifles) bolt action and semi-auto.
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    Note the sign says Illegal to carry firearms/ammunition **into Mexico**.... It's seems the importation of weapons is illegal. Where's the historical question in this? – American Luke Sep 12 '12 at 17:08
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    @Luke Is there a Mexican government SE site? It has to do with government, laws, and constitutions. – Daniel says Reinstate Monica Sep 12 '12 at 17:13
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    Not every question has a Stack to call home. I don't see anything about history here either. – SevenSidedDie Sep 12 '12 at 17:19
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    @SevenSidedDie "According to the 1857 Constitution and also the 1917 Constitution, you're allowed to bear firearms." This seems to be the historical portion of the question. – E1Suave Sep 14 '12 at 0:10
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    @E1Suave I think I'm just going to put the [contemporary-history] tag on ignore. That should solve the problem. – SevenSidedDie Sep 15 '12 at 20:09

I'm hardly a Mexican legal expert. However, the Constitutional article you state (the first can be ignored, as that Constitution isn't in effect any more) seems to say that your right to keep guns in your own home can only be restricted by Federal authorities (not state or local authorities). However, there's no limit placed on how restrictive the Federal authorities can make it. If they want to ban all guns outright, they could. It also doesn't seem to give you any rights whatsoever outside your own home.

This looks pretty weird to a USA citizen. Our Constitution tends to take the opposite approach that the Federal Government is prohibited from outlawing certian things, but the states and local municipalities are free to do so (aka: State's Rights). The effectiveness of this has waxed and waned over the years, depending on how the courts choose to interpret things, but that was the general guiding principle.

As for the sign you posted, I don't know the exact law to which they are referring. It could be that the word "into" is important, and it is just talking about importing firearms and ammo, not actually the act of possessing them.

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