Are increasing numbers of military weapons being smuggled into the USA?


Regular readers will be aware that I have contacts in federal, state and local law enforcement in several parts of the country (not surprising, having worked in an ancillary law enforcement role myself).  On several occasions in the past, as we’ve discussed in these pages, they’ve provided tips and insights about what they’re seeing and hearing on the streets about our crime situation.  That information has generally proven accurate over time.

I’m currently hearing a number of rumors from them – not just idle chatter, but serious concern – that the number of military-grade weapons being smuggled into the USA is getting seriously worrying.  They report that the Mexican cartels, in particular, are finding weapon smuggling to be a very profitable sideline to their usual dealings in drugs and illegal aliens.  Word is that military firearms – assault rifles with full-auto capability, sniper rifles, machine guns, hand grenades, and possibly a few rocket launchers – are being bought from corrupt troops and/or stolen from militaries in Mexico and points south, and sent north to meet the demand.  There’s even one report that shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles have been discussed.

There’s a growing supply of such weapons in South America, from nations such as Venezuela (which makes its own AK-47 variant) and China (whose criminals already supply the cartels with most of their fentanyl and other hard drugs, and would find little difficulty in offering weapons as well).  Where there’s such a free supply, available at relatively low cost, it fuels demand.  There’s also the factor of illegal imports from other nations and regions.  According to US Customs & Border Protection, “Each year, more than 11 million maritime containers arrive at our seaports. At land borders, another 11 million arrive by truck and 2.7 million by rail.”  That’s 25 million containers a year – about 65,000 per day, 365 days a year – and that figure excludes air cargo containers.  It’s clearly impossible to screen them all.  Reports suggest that only about “2% to 10%” are examined in detail.  Who knows what’s being smuggled in the other 90%?

Reports of inbound weapons smuggling have been isolated for some time, but now they appear to be more widespread and more frequent.  Informed speculation is that there’s a serious demand for these weapons, not just from individuals, but from organized groups.  My informants haven’t shared any information on who or what those groups might be, but they say the demand is such that it can’t be just random purchases.  A few have surmised that, in the face of organized black crime and politicized crime (e.g. Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the like) against white communities, hispanic groups are arming themselves to resist such pressure in their neighborhoods, should it happen.  I’d say that’s not unlikely.  There’s already a lot of tension and animosity between black and hispanic criminal and street gangs.  If the former think they’re going to use the current political and social climate to establish dominance over the latter, I suspect they’re about to be enlightened . . . forcibly.

There’s also the possible terrorist angle.  We know Hezbollah and Iran have been active in Mexico, Venezuela and other parts of South America for years.  It’s beyond reasonable doubt that they’ve infiltrated terrorist “sleeper cells” into the USA through our notoriously porous southern border, and those cells may be “arming up” in preparation for action.  Certainly, their parent organization(s) and nation(s) show much less fear of and respect for the Biden administration than they did for its predecessor.  However, I doubt there are enough of those cells to justify the apparent surge in weapons trafficking.  There has to be a bigger demand from other sources.

I note that Larry Lambert (who’s in a position to know) says this about the north-bound weapons trade.  Bold print is his emphasis.

… contrary to what the media asserts, a lot of military grade weapons are being smuggled into the USA to end up in the hands of every-day folks. Most of it is Chinese made. Some of it comes out of the inventories of Central and South American militaries, bought by cartels for their own uses, but also smuggled into the US because of the demand. The demand for military grade weapons exceeds the demand for illegal narcotics.

Friends, I don’t know the truth of the matter.  All I have to go on is third-party reports and speculation.  However, those reports and that speculation come from sources I’ve learned to trust.  In the past, they’ve given me the “straight skinny” about developments, and subsequent events have confirmed their information.  Therefore, I’m taking these reports seriously.  If any of you have anything to add about the subject, I’m sure we’d all be interested if you’ll please share it with us in Comments.



  1. I expect that many of these would be going to the very well-financed BLM and Antifa forces in preparation for an invasion of the suburbs.

  2. I'm surprised that we haven't heard more reports of this equipment being found by LE… I know its out there, though what I've heard of is mostly older stuff from the US military, from Vietnam or other sources when the military didn't keep track as closely.

    If it's Chinese, buyer beware! When I worked with the Army, we tested a number of Chinese weapons systems, most of which didn't live up to expectations, some of which had fatal flaws from the factory… They are cheap, but often they skimp on quality control.

  3. And when it hits the fan and some of these military grade weapons are put to use by certain left wing organizations our fearless leaders will point to such acts as justification for ever more draconian gun control. And with a gun ignorant and complicit media they might just bring that off for at least a while.
    Keep in mind that the mere presence of a bump stock at that Las Vegas attack got those declared verboten, and at the same time destroyed a run at gettin suppressors removed from the NFA even though there were none used in Vegas.
    Also, keep in mind that heavy weapons, some shoulder fired, intended for use against tanks, can just as easily take out a truck, a train engine, an airplane, an electrical substation, or an entire refinery.

  4. Until I recently "retired" as a free lance CAD designer, I was buying old rifles from the Cincinnati Cabelas. Last summer, the chief gun dealer there told me that Chinese students were buying lots of semi-autos, mainly AR-15s and 9mm handguns. The purchases were legal, but worried him. He said that some of these people, mainly young males, were over the course of a month or two, would each buy 4-6 rifles. His assumption was that, in the event of a US-China war, at least some of the Chinese students might form a 5th column.
    He tried to let law enforcement know, but they weren't interested, and so asked me to let my DoD contacts know, since I worked mainly in aerospace. I passed the word onto to a few people, but never got any response; they were more interested in getting Trump out of office.
    If you use this, please don't use my name, as my last contract house is very anti-gun, and I'm hoping to get back to work soon.

  5. unknown, could be, but more likely they are forming defensive groups as they see the increased violence directed at them from the blm crowd. the media does its best to hide it but they leak out. seems like blm hates everybody. equal opportunity haters, lol. think i'll copywrite that…the cartels are arming their own as they expand into the u.s. as well as latin gangs ,or anybody with the cash really. a n.c. school teacher died in a firefight w/ cartel folks in a small town. we are being invaded not by china but by the cartels.

  6. I've worked extensively with the Norinco M-305 (M-14/M1A) products in Canada and they were, to a large extent, equal or better in quality to the US made rifles. Forged receivers although the bolts were often softer than they should have been. They were also $300 Canadian for the longest time.

    Is it socially responsible to talk about Chinese students forming 5th Column groups? Isn't that what the Japanese were accused of doing in WWII which led to the internments?

    Oh wait, many of them were, in fact. Darn it. I don't know which way to go with this.

    That being said, I'm not overly concerned about people armed with FA rifles attacking me. They are hard to control, inaccurate, and run out of ammo a few seconds after you start firing them. I'd be more concerned with a bunch of people who spend a lot of time at the range getting good with their SA rifles and taking tactical operations classes.

  7. BLM/Antifa with guns would still be a pack of baboons trying to play symphony instruments, as every Turd World insurgency and revolution has shown.

    What they could do is cause a lot of confusion and societal breakdown, but only until local posses cleaned them off the map in about a month. This is like watching what happens when you turn a few squaddies of trained infantry loose on a paintball or airsoft field: in about 10 minutes, they've sorted out most of the other team for good. And in life, unlike games, there's no re-spawn.

    The mobs are only good at forming feral packs, picking on the weak, and destroying things. One 17 y.o. with a rifle stopped that nonsense in about a minute, as could be expected.
    A predilection for violence is only an ante into the game, but without any organization cards, they become extinct pretty quickly.

    Then who has those military-grade armaments?

    If Team Dindu wants to volunteer to become walking resupply points of untraceable ordnance, I'm game.

  8. "A few have surmised that, in the face of organized black crime and politicized crime against white communities, Hispanic groups are arming themselves to resist such pressure in their neighborhoods, should it happen."

    – Now that is a feel good story. Hope it's true.

    "The demand for military grade weapons exceeds the demand for illegal narcotics."

    – Highly doubtful. If this were true it would be as obvious in the community as drug abuse is.

  9. If you want to know my fears, contemplate what a 120mm mortar a semi trailer and 6-10 rounds within 6 miles of a sports venue.
    Nightmares? Yes, you are welcome

  10. In a past life I worked on a project with US Customs to screen containers for contraband. The agents were only interested in outbound containers, looking for stolen motorcycles and cars being shipped to Europe or South America which we could find pretty easily.

    They did a random x-ray or screening of incoming containers but it appeared to me they just didn't want to do much more than that.

    We worked with some motivated agents, but as a whole they were not very impressive with the work ethic. In their defense, slowing down the incoming shipments was nothing but a headache from the people above them in the chain of command. Slipping something into the country seemed pretty easy to me if you could accept some losses.


  11. There is plenty of demand from gangs , criminals and every side who thinks the US is going to move to hot civil war.

    If this is the case almost certainly some of these will be scooped up by Dissident Right factions as well if they aren't already.

    China and Russia and maybe others do have a vested interest in selling weapons and destabilizing the US so why not do it this way and make some money?

    Even mainstream arms companies have been popped for selling guns off the back of trucks. I'm told Glock is one of them.

    This was also I am told a huge problem during the Assault Weapons Ban era , full auto guns were starting to become common as pea gravel. I recall hearing about a Phoenix PD detective being relived once the ban was over because the demand for auto weapons would decline.

    Now on a philosophical level though I can't be bothered. Everyone has a right to bear arms and while fifth columns gangs and the like are a concern, that's what happens when you let foreigners in and can't run a healthy society.

  12. I would imagine there has been and is a growing demand on all sides of the political cube. CW II may be even more entertaining than any of us might have expected.

  13. If there was a proper bookie, I'd bet that our current national LEO and intelligence agencies are aware and encouraging the traffic. They aren't going to let a few armed citizens overturn their coup and scheduled race war.

  14. What about those Turkish-make drones used in the Azeri-Armenian war last year? Are those being smuggled into the U.S.?

  15. Anyone who can crack a book and has the desire can whomp up mortars and shells,out of stuff from Home Despot. While I'm sure military grade stuff may be more effective and accurate in trained hands, resupply cant be that good without access to U.S. Mil. ordinance bunkers, which I HOPE are secured and well inventoried…

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