A US judge has dismissed Mexico’s $10 billion lawsuit against American gun manufacturers.
The lawsuit had blamed American gun makers for facilitating the trafficking of weapons across the border and into the hands of drug cartels.
Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor made his ruling on Friday, determining that Smith & Wesson Brands Inc, Sturm, Ruger & Co, Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Inc, Beretta USA Corp, Colt’s Manufacturing Co and Glock Inc. are not liable for the cartel’s activities.
According to a report from VOA, “Saylor said federal law ‘unequivocally’ bars lawsuits seeking to hold gun manufacturers responsible when people use guns for their intended purpose. He said the law contained several narrow exceptions, but none applied.”
“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,” Saylor wrote in his 44-page decision.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act protects gunmakers from lawsuits over “the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products … by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.”
Mexico has said that they plan to appeal the decision.
“This suit by the Mexican government has received worldwide recognition and has been considered a turning point in the discussion around the gun industry’s responsibility for the violence experience in Mexico and the region,” Mexico’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Mexico had originally filed the lawsuit in August 2021. The nation claimed that roughly 2.2% of the approximately 40 million guns made annually in the United States are brought illegally into Mexico.
Lawrence Keane, the general counsel of firearm industry trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation, told VOA that they welcomed the dismissal of the “baseless lawsuit.”
“The crime that is devastating the people of Mexico is not the fault of members of the firearm industry, that under U.S. law, can only sell their lawful products to Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights after passing a background check,” Keane said.
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