Los Angeles Times

There is only one gun store in all of Mexico. So why is gun violence soaring?

MEXICO CITY - The only gun shop in all of Mexico is behind a fortresslike wall on a heavily guarded military base.

To enter the Directorate of Arms and Munitions Sales, customers must undergo months of background checks - six documents are required - and then be frisked by uniformed soldiers.

The army-run store on the outskirts of Mexico City embodies the country's cautious approach to firearms, and a visit here illustrates the dramatically different ways two neighboring countries view guns, legally and culturally.

Like the Second Amendment in the United States, Mexico's Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, but it also stipulates that federal law "will determine the cases, conditions, requirements and places" of gun ownership. For many Mexicans, even those who love guns, the thought of an unfettered right to owning one is

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