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Mexican actor endorses cross-border petition on weapons

August 11, 2011 |  2:27 pm

Mexican actor and filmmaker Diego Luna is urging President Obama to restrict the sales of guns that often find their way across the border into Mexico and are used in drug killings.

Luna, who acted alongside Gael Garcia Bernal in “Y Tu Mamá También” and “Rudo y Cursi,” joined activists Thursday in Mexico City to launch a cross-border petition drive asking Obama to use existing presidential authority to toughen gun rules without having to ask Congress.

Surrounded by reporters from the celebrity pages, Luna said the drive would include concerts and plays in Mexico and the United States.

The petition calls on Obama to reinstate enforcement of a ban on the importation of assault weapons and expand the “regulatory capacity” of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in areas along the Mexican border.

Joining Luna and representatives of several civic organizations was Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, unofficial spokesman for an anti-violence movement in Mexico since his son and six other people were slain earlier this year in the city of Cuernavaca.

Amid drug-related violence in Mexico that has killed around 40,000 since 2006, leaders south of the border complain many weapons used by hit men are smuggled from the United States.

The Obama administration angered gun-rights advocates recently by a new rule requiring dealers along the border to report multiple sales of certain semiautomatic weapons.

The administration faces attack for an ill-fated undercover operation called “Fast and Furious,” in which guns bought under the surveillance of ATF agents were later smuggled south across the border. Two of the weapons later turned up at the scene where Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry was killed in southern Arizona in December.

— Cecilia Sanchez in Mexico City  

[For the record, 7:56 p.m. Aug. 11: An earlier version of this post stated that the petition Luna supports includes a demand for reinstating an assault-weapons ban that lapsed in 2004. The petition doesn't specifically reference the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, a renewal of which would need to be passed by Congress.]