Guns can be used for protection"but they also have a dark side.
"Guns could always end up in the wrong hands and be used against us or against other people in the city, said San Juan Police Sgt. Rudy Luna.
This department is no stranger to residents trying to sell and export illegal firearms into Mexico.
They said the cartels biggest suppliers are local level street gangs.
"We've gotten information that organizations in Mexico get these street level gangs to get the guns for them, Luna said.
Recently, San Juan offered a gun buyback program.
Their hope was to get unwanted guns off of the streets and out of the hands of criminals.
San Juan is not the only agency fighting this battle.
In 2010, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents seized over 700 guns, they said, were heading to Mexico.
"Seven hundred seventy eight assorted weapons may not seem like a lot of some people, but if you put things in perspective that amount shows a lot of investigations, a lot of work of boots on the ground, and working 24/7 to make sure that our communities stay safe," said ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda.
United States Mexico-Bound Gun Seizure Figures
2008 - $26.5 million Approximately 397 assorted weapons 2009 - $60 million Approximately 679 assorted weapons 2010 - $31 millionApproximately 778 assorted weapons
Source: U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement