La Prensa América presents:

Lax TX gun laws and promises of easy money doom one Latina mother

By Marisa Treviño

Young Texas mother, Mary Jane Esparza, arrested for gun trafficking for Zetas drug cartel.

    Living in Texas, the news that someone local has been caught gun trafficking in assault rifles for Mexican cartels is nothing new. In the past two years, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) agents have investigated 90 cases of gun-running in North Texas involving 2,500 weapons in the past two years alone.

    The reason is simple, aside from the lax gun laws in the Lone Star State like:

    •No waiting period to purchase a firearm.

    •No state registration of firearms.

    •No restrictions on “assault weapons” such as semi-auto AR15, FAL, G3 / HK91 rifles.

    Cartels know that these are tough economic times and, regardless of which side of the border it is, people will do stupid things for money. That’s why the case of Mary Jane Esparza is so sad and so indicative of things to come.

    Mary Jane Esparza, a Fort Worth-area resident, is a beautician and a single mom to three children. Last month, she was arrested for recruiting a gun buyer to buy some assault weapons for her, which she was going to smuggle to the Zetas drug cartel.

    Mary Jane is no saint. She’s been in prison before — once for burglary and another for helping undocumented immigrants into the country. But, according to her mother, Mary Jane was trying to get her act together to provide for her kids. Yet, the prospect of making fast money was too hard to ignore.

    Esparza’s mother, Rosalinda Cuellar, told KXAS television station of Dallas-Fort Worth that her daughter, a beautician, is a good person and a good mom who struggled to support her three children — ages 10, 11 and 16.

    “I think it’s all about the money,” she said. “It’s all about easy money.”

    Mary Jane isn’t alone. ATF agents say they have seen women used before by cartels to help them smuggle guns into Mexico. What happens to these women doesn’t matter to the cartels. It’s a different story for the destroyed families left behind.

    While the argument can certainly be made that Mary Jane knew what she was doing and got what she deserved, one other argument can be made too: If Texas had stricter gun laws then Mary Jane, and others seduced by easy money cartels offer during these hard economic times, wouldn’t be able to reach the point where they face years in a federal prison — away from their children and families.

    There’s no excuse or justification for what Mary Jane did but there’s also no excuse for gun laws being so lax in a state that shares a border with a country experiencing a raging war supplied with weapons from young mothers trying to make ends meet any way they can.

(Editor’s note: This aticle was written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the US media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.)

16 comments on “Lax TX gun laws and promises of easy money doom one Latina mother


you can not regulate morels


Guns don’t kill people governments do that give guns to Drug Cartels! I do not call Soro’s Media Matters talking points as reliable a source. They are the ones that brought us the 90% lie! Fact 2000 guns went to the Drug Cartels via Fast and Furious. Fact a Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was armed with Beanbag rounds is dead as a result of walked guns to the drug cartels!!

Lou Gots

The laws were lax, but she broke them anyway.

This was a complicated criminal scheme, The subject recruited someone else to act as a straw purchaser in buying guns to be smuggled. She had needed the straw purchaser, because those “lax” laws already disqualified her from buying the guns herself.

This individual brought her own problems down on herself.


I don’t follow the logic, to the extent there might be some.

Two felony raps, then she turns to running guns to the most murderous of all drug cartels, not caring how many lives her actions might take. Somehow I don’t feel much sympathy. This is her mother’s idea of “trying to get her act together”?

The reasoning seems to be “existing gun laws will put this woman in prison. The solution is to enact more gun laws.” ??? So Texas could put her in prison after she gets out?

I see the writer is paid by a Media Matters fellowship, to “monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation…” I wonder what that purpose has to do with this story.

Dave L.

Laws couldn’t be too lax–she got nailed…


I hope George Soros thinks he got his money’s worth with this lame article.


Ok so let me get this straight – the mean ol’ law put this poor woman in jail, which means the laws are not strict enough?

I hope your degree is refundable.

Thick Ham Steak

“Gun laws are too lax, so feel sorry for this woman because she broke these gun laws!”

I don’t get it. So if the laws are so lax why did she get arrested? Oh right, because she did something very ILLEGAL. It says it right there on the form – lying on this form is a FELONY.

The reason she was compensated at all is because she is assuming risk for breaking the law. Stricter gun laws would actually make selling guns illegally MORE appealing because the stakes would be higher therefore she would be compensated more for the risk she assumes by breaking the law.

The reasoning in this article is so flawed it makes my head hurt.


The saddest thing about this article is the title. If completed, it would read “Lax TX gun laws and promises of easy money doom one Latina mother to jail for breaking lax gun laws and wanting easy money.”

Yes… She was convicted of breaking a gun law, and that is evidence of how lax the gun laws are… She committed an illegal act and was jailed for it, and that is proof that we need more laws against that illegal act… Logic: You’re doing it wrong.

Words do not describe the strange mix of rage, amusement and sadness I’m feeling right now for the writer of this article and the Media Matters Gun “Facts” fellowship. I think I’ll call this feeling “ramuseness” and reserve it for people who write emotional fluff stories intended to emotionally blackmail the public into becoming well behaved sheep.


There is absolutely no logical connection between the gun laws of Texas and what this woman did. She started by violating federal laws in trying to get someone to buy guns for her because she knew she was prohibited from buying them herself. Then she was going to export them without a license. And she was going to sell them to folks who cannot legally buy guns in Mexico and who are violating treaties Mexico has signed with the UN.

As far as I can tell, nobody was holding a gun to her head, or the head of any member of her family. As her mother said, it’s all about the supposedly easy money. Being a single mom of 3 is not easy, but it can be done. She just did not want to put forth the effort needed.

Pity for her? Not a chance!

stay safe.


There’s a glaring breakdown of logic here. We’re supposed to feel bad for the “young mothers trying to make ends meet any way they can” who break gun laws designed to keep guns from being run to Mexican crime cartels, but the suggested solution is to pass more gun laws for those same desperate young mothers to break. So, by the author’s logic, we should simply pile more charges upon these desperate young mothers’ heads. Yeah, that’ll help.


You have got to be kidding me|
A woman knowingly commits multiple felonies and the answer is more laws?
How about this, throw her in prison for 20+ years as a lesson to other convicted felons in search of “easy money”.


What is their malfunction? Why would stronger gun laws have saved these crooks?

This is the second opinion piece I have read which tried to absolve a gun criminal with the excuse that gun-control laws are too weak!

The first opinion piece was in the Los Angeles Times more than ten years ago, written by a criminal defense lawyer who whined that his client, a crook with a prior felony record, was going to prison for breaking a gun law. Why if only we had stronger gun-control laws he felt his client would not have gone to prison!

Let’s see if I can untangle that bizarre briar patch of fuzzy thinking.

The examples above are not of failure of existing gun-control laws, but of success. The bad guys doing bad things were caught and punished. But that isn’t the real end game or final objective of gun-control advocates, which is why they use these crooks as examples to complain that the gun-control laws are too weak.

The real target of stronger gun-control is not bad guys, the real target is all the good guys. Now does the crusade for stronger laws begin to make sense? You see if anti-gun laws were strong enough, so strong that guns were even banned, why then bad people wouldn’t have guns to break the law with! Like these dumb crooks the writers boo-hoo about.

Windy Wilson

A convicted felon buys guns (illegally) which she is prohibited from doing by federal law because she is a convicted felon. She is arrested and convicted of this felony as well, and goes to prison. As others have said, it sure looks like a lax gun law worked. Would this article have been written had she decided that burglary in a different town from the one she was caught in before was a good idea for easy money? Would the author have argued that it was lax burglary laws that induced this single mother of three (with implicit sainthood) to seek easy money by committing burglary?
Why ask stupid questions of stupid authors?

abby esparza

That is my MOTHER that ya are talking about!! ya sorry a**’z don’t know anything about what happen all ya know is what these wanna be new’s reporter’s say. She was a greatmother to me an my brothers.. dnt try to look at her as if was the bad one jus because she is mexican. if it was someone white yall all would be on there side. everyone hase broke a law before so dnt act like yall are so damn good… What she did was not right yes i understand tht it was agianst the law but were is the proof that she is really running aything ?? bet that ya didn’t think about thhat i think that ya shuld just STFU cuase ya don’t know the truth.. I will be dammed if ya talk about her like that she gave me life and i will not let ya say anything bad about her cause she was the best mtoher ever and we always had what we wanted and more!! so don’t judge cause she tryed to give us a good life!

Marisa Treviño

After reading the comments to the article I penned, I’m amazed that some of those who comment have the audacity to pass judgement when it was obvious they didn’t read the article or finish it.

If they had read the article in its entirety, they would see the point that was being made. Not that it would make any difference to those whose minds are made up just by reading the headline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Email Newsletter

LPSD Podcasts

Latest Tweets