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Some say Searching Cars for Guns at Border Ineffective

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Aired 4/20/09

Border analysts say searching for illegal guns in cars headed south to Mexico is largely ineffective. Wednesday, law enforcement authorities searched 3000 cars crossing from San Diego to Tijuana and did not find any firearms. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

San Diego Sheriff's officials says more than 100 local, state and federal officers searched 3000 cars and 500 pedestrians headed to Mexico earlier this week.

Sheriff Bill Kolender says in a press release, the operation was aimed at helping Mexico combat drug violence.

Drug cartels smuggle guns and money from the US to Mexico.

David Shirk directs the University of San Diego's Transborder Institutue.

He says it is important the US government addresses its culpability in the drug war.

"That said, if you wait until you get to the border to try to stop arms smugglers, you're already too late.You're looking for a needles in a haystack. And, in many ways, these are organizations that are very sophisticated and have other means of moving illicit cargo across the border than in the backseat of someone's passenger vehicle," says Shirk.

Both US and Mexican officials eventually plan to screen all vehicles headed south into Mexico.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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