GOP AGs Turn To SCOTUS Over Lawsuit From Mexico

( – The US and Mexico have both struggled with smuggling that originated from the other country. Drugs flow into America from Mexican drug cartels. Those narcotics have killed countless US citizens and cost the government billions.

On the other side of the border, Mexico has dealt with guns being smuggled into its country from the US. In some cases, the cartels have better weapons than police forces and the government. In 2021, the Mexican government sued US gun manufacturers. Republican attorneys general and gun groups are asking the US Supreme Court to take the case.

The Lawsuit

Mexico filed the lawsuit in a federal courtroom in Massachusetts in 2021. Several of the gun manufacturers are located in the state. The lawsuit argued the makers of the firearms knew that their weapons were being sold to arms traffickers and fueling the epidemic of gun violence sweeping across the country.

The Mexican government wanted a $10 billion judgment issued against Colt, Glock, Century Arms, Ruger, Beretta, Barrett Firearms, and Smith & Wesson. They claim that approximately half a million guns are smuggled into the country from America every year.

The companies have argued the Mexican government can’t prove they’re at fault for the violence. Also, US law prohibits the manufacturers from being sued over the misuse of their weapons. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was signed into law in 2005. While it doesn’t allow the companies to be sued for misuse, it does allow lawsuits when the manufacturers have reason to believe the firearm is being purchased to commit crimes.

On September 7, 2022, Massachusetts federal Judge F. Dennis Saylor ruled that the claims by the Mexican government were “either barred by federal law or fail for other reasons.”

Supreme Court Petitions

Mexico appealed the 2022 ruling, arguing it only applies to injuries that happen in the US. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in the Latin country’s favor, saying they alleged a “type of claim that is statutorily exempt” from the PLCAA. The lawsuit was allowed to move forward.

On May 21, a group of 27 Republican attorneys general filed an amicus brief at the high court and asked the justices to take on the case. The prosecutors asked them to stop the “foreign sovereign’s use of American courts to effectively limit the rights of American citizens.” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen accused gun control activists of being behind the lawsuit.

The amicus brief by the AGs comes about a month after gun rights groups, including the Firearm Industry Trade Association, petitioned the high court asking them to dismiss the case.

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