U.S. Gunmakers Ask Supreme Court To Quash Mexican Lawsuit

Zac K
by Zac K
mexican flag

As they face one of the most potentially damaging lawsuits in the history of American firearms manufacturing, the country’s gunmakers are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the challenge from the Mexican government—presumably so it can be thrown out.

Laws and Regulations @ TFB:

The background

A list of U.S.-based firearms manufacturers are being sued by the Mexican federal government for a massive $10 billion judgment. The Mexican lawsuit boils down to this: Mexico’s government says American gunmakers are the cause of violence in that country, due to manufacturers’ business practices in the U.S. The manufacturers pointed to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which initially was enough to shoot down the lawsuit in U.S. courtrooms. However, back in January of 2024, a three-judge panel in the Boston-based First U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the PLCAA only protects firearm manufacturers from lawsuits over criminal misuse of their products in the U.S. Thanks to their ruling, the lawsuit is going ahead in the States, for now.

The NSSF fights back

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry body that represents firearms manufacturers in the U.S., is obviously highly motivated to squash this lawsuit before it causes the gunmakers irreparable harm. They’re asking the U.S. Supreme Court to step on this Mexican lawsuit; the NSSF says the suit is simply a case of the Mexican government being unhappy with American gunmakers’ legal business practices. In the NSSF statement here:

In their petition the defendants argue Mexico’s claims should be dismissed because firearm manufacturers lawfully produce and sell firearms in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations governing the firearm industry. Mexico’s claims do not dispute this and no evidence of illegal activity has been produced. Rather, Mexico argues American firearm manufacturers are liable because they refuse to adopt policies to restrict lawful firearm ownership in the United States.

The response from the NSSF says the Mexican lawsuit “fails to identify any product, policy, or action by the American firearms industry that is deliberately designed to facilitate the unlawful activities of Mexican drug cartels.”

The NSSF is keen to end this Mexican lawsuit before it causes big trouble for the industry.

Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel, says lawsuits like this attack from Mexico are the very reason the PLCAA was passed by a bipartisan majority to start with, and that the American gun industry is not legally responsible for those who commit crimes with their products:

Members of the firearm industry are not legally responsible for international narco-terrorists criminally acquiring firearms and smuggling them into Mexico in violation of both U.S. and Mexican law where they are misused by the drug cartels.

The NSSF’s petition for Supreme Court review says the case comes down to a clash of national values:

Mexico makes no secret that it abhors this country’s approach to firearms, and that it wants to use the American court system to impose domestic gun controls on the United States that the American people themselves would never accept through the ordinary political process. But even though that grievance is placed under the lettering of a complaint, and was filed on a docket, it has no basis in law. This Court’s review is badly needed.

Stay tuned on this one. It might go nowhere, but if the Mexican suit is successful, it will impact firearms manufacturers around the world, as they will all become potential targets for government lawsuits.

Zac K
Zac K

Professional hoser with fudd-ish leanings.

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9 of 38 comments
  • Norman Stansfield Norman Stansfield on Apr 25, 2024

    The biggest threat to the US is not China or Russia, it's Mexico.

  • Aerodawg Aerodawg on Apr 26, 2024

    Hearing "first circuit" is all you need to hear to know that ruling isn't long for this world.....

    BTW, most guns used by Mexican cartels, come straight from Mexican gov't armories....weapons that come via various foreign military aid programs...making Uncle Sam the biggest arms trafficker to Mexican cartels

    • See 2 previous
    • IOJ IOJ on Apr 26, 2024

      @MediumSizeTex Would be a lot cooler if they did.