Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Judge dismisses $10 billion lawsuit by Mexico against gun manufacturers

A federal judge in Boston Friday dismissed the Mexican government’s $10 billion lawsuit against major US gun manufacturers that sought to hold them responsible for illegal trafficking of guns into Mexico, reported Jurist.

A victory for US gun manufacturers, the decision by Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor held that the claims of Mexico did overcome the broad protection offered by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to the firearm industry. The law shields gun manufacturers from civil liability arising as a result of criminal or unlawful misuse of their products.

Saylor wrote that the federal law “unequivocally” bars lawsuits seeking to hold gun manufacturers liable for misuse of their weapons, and although the law does have some narrow exceptions, none of them are applicable in the present case.

Saylor wrote, “while the Court has considerable sympathy for the people of Mexico, and none whatsoever for those who traffic guns to Mexican criminal organizations, it is duty-bound to follow the law.”

The lawsuit was brought by the Mexican government against seven US gun manufacturers and one gun wholesaler and distributor for a wide variety of practices that knowingly facilitate trafficking of guns into Mexico.

The defendants included some of the major gun makers in the US, such as Smith & Wesson Brands, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Beretta USA Corp, Century International Arms and Colt’s Manufacturing Company. Another defendant was Interstate Arms, a Boston-area wholesaler of firearms.

Mexico’s foreign ministry has said that it will appeal the decision of the federal judge and will continue “to insist that the arms trade must be responsible, transparent and accountable, and that the negligent way in which they are sold in the United States makes it easier for criminals to access them.”

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