A Boston federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Mexican government against top American gunmakers Friday.
The Mexican government legally targeted a laundry list of top gunmakers in the U.S. by alleging that the manufacturers maintain business practices and marketing strategies that amplify the high degree of gun violence that occurs in the country, according to court documents. Judge F. Dennis Saylor ruled that the firearm manufacturers were collectively protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) passed in 2005 which prevents gunsmiths from punishment “resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse” of the guns they produce, MassLive reported.
Mexico estimates that 2.2% of the nearly 40 million guns made annually in the US are smuggled across its border ⤵️ https://t.co/PLjq97Ah4A
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 1, 2022
“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 federal judge wrote.
The Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry reportedly vowed to seek an appeal. Further, the Ministry stated that it will also “continue insisting that the sale of guns be responsible, transparent and accountable, and that the negligent way in which they are sold in the United States facilitates criminals’ access to them,” MassLive reported. (RELATED: ‘You’re A F*cking Plague’: Mexico City Residents Want Americans To Leave)
BOOM – A federal judge has thrown out the Mexican government lawsuit against various U.S. gun companies for the trafficking of arms to Mexico.
However, the suit has had a major impact on how the U.S. sees the issue, and is not the end of the Mexican government’s legal strategy.
— Ioan Grillo (@ioangrillo) September 30, 2022
The Mexican government was seeking $10 billion in damages. (RELATED: Priests Gunned Down, Tourists Kidnapped Near US Border In Mexico)
Other gun manufacturers were also sued by Mexico, including Smith & Wesson Brands Inc., Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc., Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC and Glock Inc., MassLive noted.
The lawsuit claimed that 70% of all firearms in Mexico derive from the United States. The Ministry also estimated that in 2019, 17,000 homicides were linked to trafficked weapons.
Mexican officials argued against the U.S. protection law for gun manufacturers, saying that the law does not apply when injury is incurred outside of the country. (RELATED: US Consulate Issues Shelter-In-Place Order As Cartel Battles Ravage Northern Mexico)
Judge Saylor disagreed by reiterating that “Mexico is seeking to hold defendants liable for practices that occurred within the United States and only resulted in harm in Mexico,” according to the report. “This case thus represents a valid domestic application of the PLCAA, and the presumption against extraterritoriality does not apply,” Saylor stated.