It has to be one of the most clearly biased rulings by a court in recent history. Reuters last week reported the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based out of Boston, overturned a lower court’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit by Mexico against U.S. firearms manufacturers. The lower court had dismissed the lawuit because it said it violates the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Mexico is seeking $10 billion in damages from U.S. gun companies who they blame for all the murders and mayhem created by cartels in that country, rather than blame the cartels themselves.
The news, which actually hit last week as SHOT Show was getting underway in Las Vegas, notes that among the companies included in the suit are Smith & Wesson, Ruger and others.
A U.S. appeals court on Monday revived a $10 billion lawsuit by Mexico seeking to hold American gun manufacturers responsible for facilitating the trafficking of weapons to drug cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower-court judge’s decision dismissing the case on the grounds that a U.S. law barred Mexico from suing Smith & Wesson Brands, Sturm, Ruger & Co and others.
That law, the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), provides the firearms industry broad protection from lawsuits over their products’ misuse.
Mexico’s lawyers argued the law only bars lawsuits over injuries that occur in the U.S. and does not shield the seven manufacturers and one distributor it sued from liability over the trafficking of guns to Mexican criminals.
U.S. Circuit Judge William Kayatta, writing for the three-judge panel, said that while the law can be applied to lawsuits by foreign governments, Mexico’s lawsuit “plausibly alleges a type of claim that is statutorily exempt from the PLCAA’s general prohibition.”
That is because in the lawsuit, Mexico has accused American gun companies of actually facilitating illegal trafficking of firearms into the country themselves. It will be interesting to see what evidence they have of that taking place since gun sales in that country are so tightly restricted yet so ineptly enforced.
It will also be interesting to see how they will prove that given the mayhem generated from their own country including rampant smuggling of humans and drugs. But then, don’t think for a minute that this lawsuit is about actually solving a homegrown problem for Mexican officials. It is clear it is little more than an opportunity to exploit soft, liberal immigration policies and law in the United States at a time of weak leadership in the White House in order to grab money from U.S. companies and filter it into their own coffers.
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