Mexico can Now Sue US Gun Makers

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THE Government of Mexico can now proceed with its law suit againt US gun manufacturers.

This was the ruling of a US appeals court on Tuesday in a long-running legal battle where the Mexico government is claiming that the “flood” of illegal firearms across the US/Mexico border is the due to “deliberate” practices by US gun makers.

The case was dismissed by a lower court in 2022 and the Mexican Government appealed.

Among the companies named in the lawsuit are Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, Barrett, Sturm and Ruger.

Some Caribbean countries including Trinidad and Tobago have supported Mexico “amicus curiae” in this case.

Speaking to the United Nations 78th Annual General Assembly in New York, USA, in September last year, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said his country and the wider Caribbean were facing a “crisis” with the proliferation of guns and assault weapons manufactured in the United States and flowing into the region.

He said, “In a population of 1.4 million people Trinidad and Tobago experienced over 600 murders last year (2022), 90% of which involved handguns and increasingly, assault weapons. Within our best efforts and a huge consumption of our already scarce resources, we have seen over 400 violent firearms-driven killings already this year. This is a crisis shared by almost all the Caribbean territories and is to be added to the challenges that stand in the way of any successful tackling of the Development Goals already identified.”

According to a BBC report, Mexican authorities allege that tens of thousands of US-manufactured guns are trafficked south across the border each year, providing drug cartels with easy access to massive arsenals used to fight each other and the Mexican government.

Some estimates put the total at over half a million weapons each year, the BBC stated.

In Mexico, 30,000 people were murdered last year.

According to the BBC, the country has extremely restrictive gun laws with only one gun shop, housed in a Mexico City military complex.

The lawsuit, which was first filed in 2021 in a federal courthouse in Massachusetts – where several of the companies are based – argued that the manufacturers knew that guns were being sold to traffickers fuelling violence in the country, the BBC stated.

Larry Keane, the senior vice-president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group that represents the US firearms industry, defended the manufacturers.

On X, he wrote: “Mexico should spend its time enforcing its own laws bring Mexican criminals to justice in Mexican courtrooms, instead of scapegoating the firearm industry for their unwillingness to protect Mexican citizens.”


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