Judge Shoots Down Mexico's Lawsuit Against U.S. Gun Manufacturers
On Sept. 30, 2022, a federal judge in Boston dismissed the Mexican government's frivolous and politically-motivated lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers, who were accused of facilitating the illegal trafficking of weapons by drug cartels.
Companies targeted include Barrett, Beretta, Century Arms, Colt, Glock, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson.
In his opinion, U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor wrote that while cartel violence is real, gun makers are not to blame:
The direct causes of that increase are, of course, the decisions of individual actors in Mexico to commit violent crimes. The indirect causes are no doubt many, but surely a substantial portion of the blame rests with American citizens. The rise of Mexican criminal organizations has been fueled by the unrelenting demand of Americans for illegal drugs, and those same organizations now play an ever-increasing role in the smuggling of illegal migrants across the border. The complaint here focuses on an additional indirect cause of that violence: the marketing and sales practices of American gun manufacturers and distributors.
According to the complaint, the increase in gun-related violence in Mexico is directly linked to the expiration of the U.S. ban on assault rifles in 2004. It alleges that when that ban expired, the production and manufacturing of firearms in the United States increased dramatically. In particular, gun manufacturers increased the production of military-style assault weapons, which are the type favored by criminal organizations. The complaint alleges that the manufacturers are aware of this and are “deliberate and willing participants, reaping profits from the criminal market they knowingly supply.”
The judge also said that federal law bars such lawsuits, which is a reference to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a law passed in 2005 to protect firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when their products are used to commit crimes.
Make no mistake, this lawsuit was never about violence in Mexico. It is yet another example of American gun control activists using creative tactics to harm the firearms industry and suppress the Second Amendment rights of Americans.
Mexico is being represented by lawyers from the Brady Center. And no less than a dozen states support the $10 billion suit, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon, as well as the District of Columbia.
Guns.com cites one example of the absurd arguments made against gun makers:
... the suit contended S&W, by placing "M&P" on their ads, which signifies “Military and Police,” somehow wanted to attract persons and that intended to use such products "to battle against the military and police," a premise that the court rejected.
"The public is fully aware that the police and military use firearms," said U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor in his 44-page opinion. "An image depicting an officer’s lawful use of a firearm does not suggest to the reasonable consumer that they should engage in criminal, 'combat-like' conduct. And the Court is unwilling to hold that the advertising of lawful conduct to sell a lawful product, without more, constitutes an 'unfair' act."
Mexico said it will appeal the ruling. Or to be accurate, U.S. gun control advocates using Mexico as a pawn in their attack on lawful American commerce, may appeal the ruling. However, if the next court rules fairly, it's unlikely that there will be a different outcome.
Of course, that won't stop the incessant attacks on the Second Amendment. The overall strategy these days seems to be to throw legal spaghetti against the wall to find something, anything, that sticks.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense. He is also the host of the Keep and Bear Radio podcast.