A Mexican police chief has blasted illegal paintballs and other gunpowder as a threat to the country, but the U.S. has responded with a warning to “take your eyes off the ball”.
Key points:Mexican police chief says the guns and paintballs are a threat “to the security of Mexico” and the country needs to be able to control themMore than 50,000 illegal paint balls and other illegal gunpowder were seized from paintball sites in the U, U.K. and the Netherlands over the last two weeks, according to Mexico’s National Police.
President Enrique Peña Nieto, who came to power in 2014 on a promise to tackle the nation’s gun problem, said on Friday the country is facing “a very serious threat” from paintballs.
He said the guns could “destroy the security and the tranquility” of the country.
Mexico has more than 50 million illegal guns and over 1 million illegal paint guns, according the World Health Organization (WHO).
The paintball threat was highlighted in the United States in January, when a Texas man was arrested for shooting a man in the face in an alley after police said he sprayed the ball into the victim’s face.
The Mexican National Police chief in the country’s capital, Mexico City, said it was a matter of “national security” to have paintballs, and he urged Americans to “be alert”.
The U.N. Security Council last month said it had “grave concerns” about the use of illegal paint weapons, and the U in July called for their immediate removal from the market.
Mexican President Enrique Peñalosa said in a statement that he and his ministers were “very concerned” about paintballs being used in Mexico and called for the U to stop the practice.
“Mexico cannot tolerate this illegal gun trade,” Peñolas spokesman Eduardo Hernandez said.
“The Mexican Government is fully committed to eliminating the illegal gun and paintball trade.”
The U in August also said it planned to take a series of steps to stop paintball in Mexico.
On Wednesday, Mexican police said they seized the paintball cartridges and paint ball “guns” that had been “used in the commission of crimes”.
It said the cartridges and the paint balls were found in “a large number” of places across Mexico and were not intended for sale.
Mexico City police also arrested a man on Friday for illegally using paintballs to shoot a man after he was spotted spraying the ball at a paintball site in the capital.
A witness said that he saw a man spraying the paint ball at the site, which is part of a chain of businesses that is home to the paint company Puma, when he saw him shooting the ball and said: “Get him, you’re shooting yourself.”
The witness told local media he then ran away.