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Mexico wins appeal to sue U.S. gun manufactures and distributors

Mexico City, Mexico — The Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE) of Mexico says the government has won its appeal in a U.S. court. The appeal won was against U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors whose business practices facilitate the trafficking of their products into Mexico.

With this win, the Government of Mexico can move forward in suing U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors in a lawsuit that was filed on August 4, 2021.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit agreed with Mexico’s arguments, ruling that the companies do not have immunity and must answer for their actions in court.

The Government of Mexico welcomes the Monday ruling.

In an unprecedented decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts ruled in favor of the Government of Mexico on appeal.

The three-judge panel unanimously ruled that Mexico had successfully demonstrated that the arms manufacturers and distributors do not enjoy immunity for their negligent business practices, which facilitate the illicit trafficking of their products into Mexico.

In August 2021, the Government of Mexico filed a civil lawsuit for damages against U.S. gun manufacturers that, through their carelessness and negligence, actively facilitate the trafficking of their products into Mexican territory.

A majority of weapons found in Mexico come from the U.S. Photo: FGR

In September 2022, the trial court judge dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that a federal law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protected and gave immunity to the defendant companies even when the damage caused by their carelessness and negligence occurred in Mexican territory.

Mexico then filed an appeal.

Mexico’s lawsuit is the first brought by a foreign State against the gun industry in U.S. courts. In Monday afternoon ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the lower-court judge’s decision, dismissing the case and ordered that the matter be returned to the trial court for further proceedings.

Mexico welcomes the ruling by the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which was very receptive to the arguments presented by Mexico in defense of its interests and those of its people.

Once the case returns to the lower court, Mexico will present evidence to demonstrate the defendants’ negligence and seek reparation for the damages, which will be determined by the judge.

A recent large gun seizure made by the State Attorney of the Republic (FGR), as seen here, is becoming more and more common. Photo: FGR

The trafficking of firearms and the violence committed with them have a serious impact on the lives of our people and the development of our country. The Government of Mexico will continue to take all possible actions to combat this evil, and will keep the public informed as the case continues, the SRE reported in a statement.

On Monday night, another American driver was arrested at the border attempting to enter the country with firearms. In the most recent event, a Minnesota man was detained after he was found trying to drive across the border in the “nothing to declare” lane with four handguns, seven magazines and 241 cartridges.