Traveling to Mexico: How to bring a pistol and possibly get CCW?


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First, sorry if this is a re-post. My original attempt to post didn't seem to work, so just remove either this or the older duplicate...

I currently reside in CA with a VA-nonresident CCW. I'm doing 2009 holidays in AZ and Mexico and plan to bring my 380ACP carry pistol. I always travel with a handgun, if the state doesn't recognize my CCW I simply lock it up, disassemble, follow the appropriate rules, etc.

I'm trying to figure out how to bring my pistol with on the Mexican portion of the trip. I know Mexico has extremely strict laws on "military calibers," but I also know that .380 is one of the okay civilian cartridges, so I'm not worried about that. I've been told I need to contact the Mexican Consulate here in the US for a permit, but I didn't get any advice on how to go about the process to help make sure it works. I have no idea if it is a fruitless task, like trying to get a CA CCW.

I've only seen one other thread on this site about International carry (it was about Canada and the answer was, "there's essentially no way to bring a gun to Canada, locked, disassembled, or not, at least if you're going by car or motorcycle"). I'd really like to help expand this site to make it a tool for International travel as well as USA travel, since I do International a lot and this subject comes up every time. I'm planning on going to South Africa and some surrounding countries in 2010 on safari and hunting, so I'm going to need the same info then!


Here are two official Mexican sites, although one is in Spanish and I don't read Spanish. Perhaps there's information on these about how to safely travel with handguns and/or get any necessary permits.
Mexonline - Mexican Consulates in the United States and Canada
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Doesn't seem too far-fetched to get a permit from the Wikipedia information on the subject: Gun politics in Mexico - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The only way legally to import firearms and/or ammunition into Mexico is to secure a permit in advance from the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. or from a Mexican consulate

Permits are very easy to obtain [for citizens], but may be only obtained by citizens belonging to a shooting club.

Since I'm a member of the NRA here in the USA and licensed to carry my gun in many states, that seems to quality as "member of a shooting club" in general, so I don't find it hard to believe that I could apply for a permit to transport my gun in a locked container and unloaded into Mexico while on vacation there. Perhaps the CCW is too much to ask, but even transport would be nice since I don't have to mail the gun home to myself when I'm done with the AZ leg of my travels.

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