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The global business of American guns

Picture of a semi-automatic rifle taken at the Shot Fair Brasil, an arms exhibition held at the Expoville Conventions and Exhibitions Centre in Joinville, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, on August 5, 2022. (Photo by Albari ROSA / AFP)
Picture of a semi-automatic rifle taken at the Shot Fair Brasil, an arms exhibition held at the Expoville Conventions and Exhibitions Centre in Joinville, Santa Catarina State, Brazil, on August 5, 2022. (Photo by Albari ROSA / AFP)

US-made semi-automatic guns are pouring into other countries at record levels, especially since policymakers agreed in 2020 to a regulatory change pushed by the firearms industry.

A new investigative series by Bloomberg examines how the federal government has become a kind of booster and concierge for gunmakers, exporting American gun culture — and the problems it brings — across the globe.

The second installation in the investigative series zooms in on Guatemala. According to a Bloomberg News analysis, weapons sales to Guatemala have been among the steepest of any nation. Imports of U.S. semi-automatic firearms jumped from an average of about 3,600 per year in the 2010s to more than 10,000 in 2021, and nearly 20,000 in 2022.

We discuss the case of Guatemala and examine the impact that American guns are having on the country.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Maya Garg
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