This brief letter
was written as a response to an August 11, 1998 article in the Arizona
Republic (circ: 500,000).
BACKGROUND: Scottsdale businessman James Brunen crossed the Mexican
border at Nogales, a popular tourist town, to buy some gifts. Remembering
that he had a few boxes of ammunition in his trunk, he declared these to
the authorities on the Mexican side. They noted his diligence by arresting
him. He was placed in a holding cell with 20 cots, 46 other men, dozens
of rats and a single backed up toilet, months away from a hearing or any
possible release. Arizona's Senators, Congressmen, and the Governor are
working for his release, while his wife drives to Mexico constantly (a
five-hour ride) to bring him water and food, and pay the guards for his
protection. More than two dozen Americans share a similar fate, victims
of Mexico's stringent gun laws.
by Alan Korwin - Bloomfield Press
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
602-996-4020; Fax 602-494-0679;
For Publication; 329 Words; Aug. 30, 1998;
One-Time North American Serial Rights;
If you use this material please provide
a copy of your edition after publication.
To: Alexa Hauser, Arizona Republic
Re: MEXICO'S LAWS TRAP UNWARY (published on 8/11/98 in
The Arizona Republic)
Dear Ms. Hauser,
Your recent article on Mexico's arrest of hapless Americans, for possession
of firearms or ammo, is the perfect segue for a much bigger story. A story
key to America's survival as a free country.
Many American politicians would like to duplicate Mexico's policy for
U.S. citizens in America. In fact, it is already the law for Arizona's
border with California. It seems to me that the consternation aimed at
Mexico should go double for local politicos whose values are the same or
worse toward their own citizens. If the Mexican policy is bad, it's identical
twin in the states is horrendous.
If you have a perfectly legal gun in your car in Arizona and drive across
our border to the west, police there will lock you up if they find out.
Even if they find out by your own humble admission, as was the recent event
in Mexico. This has been the case for years.
Why raise all the fuss over our Third World friends to the south, when
our compatriots to the west have the same agenda (well, maybe the jails
are a little nicer than the horror you described, but I wouldn't know first
hand, and rumor suggests you really don't want to get caught in an American
jail or in the California legal system). And when you're arrested domestically
for mere possession of property, the Governor and Congress don't spring
to your aid.
If you want to do the public a service, followup your story by getting
the stats, a picture of some poor slob unknowingly snagged, and the phenomenal
cost incurred in dollars and hardship, and permanent criminal record, perpetrated
by the great state of California. All for doing something that, until recently,
was fully protected by our cherished Bill of Rights.
How can California--and so many other states--get away with that? Hold
them up to as seering scrutiny as you would give our close NAFTA ally and
Such an article would make us proud of the work The Arizona Republic
is doing, and for your efforts as a reporter.
Alan Korwin - Author
The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide
The California Gun Owner's Guide
(No current plan for Mexican Gun Owner's Guide)
Three weeks have passed. No response has been received. Brunen is still
in jail. I spoke with Governor Hull recently, she says she's working on
P.S. - Brunen was finally released, and is working on getting the other
Alan Korwin is a full-time free-lance writer and author of seven books
on gun law, including Gun Laws of America Every Federal Gun Law on the
Books with Plain English Summaries. Permission to reprint this article
is granted to non-profit organizations, provided credit is given to Alan
Korwin, Bloomfield Press, Phoenix, AZ. All others, just call us.