Mexico’s $10 billion case against gun manufacturers revived by US appeals court

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A court in the US said Mexico can continue with a $10 billion lawsuit against American gun makers. This starts the legal fight again after it has been going on for a long time.

The Mexican government says that a lot of illegal guns come into the country from the US because American gunmakers are purposefully selling them.

In late 2022, a lower court threw out the case, so the Mexican government appealed.

The group that represents gun makers says it did not do anything wrong.

The lawsuit includes companies like Smith & Wesson, Glock, Beretta, Barrett, Sturm, and Ruger.

Mexican officials say that many guns made in the US are brought into Mexico illegally every year. This gives drug gangs lots of weapons to use in their fights with each other and with the government. Some people think there are more than 500,000 weapons made every year.

Last year, over 30,000 people were killed in Mexico, even though the country has very strict rules about owning guns. The only place in the country where guns are sold is in a military complex in Mexico City.

The lawsuit was filed in 2021 in a court in Massachusetts. It claimed that the gun companies knew their guns were being sold to criminals and causing violence in the country.

In 2022, a judge in the United States decided that the gun companies couldn’t be sued for the case because of a law from 2005 called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The law protects gunmakers from being sued if their guns are used in a criminal or unlawful way.

The government of Mexico quickly asked for a review of the law, saying it only applies to injuries in the US and doesn’t protect the seven manufacturers and one distributor from being held responsible.

On Monday, a US appeals court said that the Mexican lawsuit makes a believable argument that is exempt from the law that only applies to legal gun sales.

People in Mexico and people who want stricter gun laws in the US said the decision was a win. The Mexican Foreign Minister, Alicia Bárcena, called it “great news” on X, which used to be called Twitter.

Jon Lowy, the president of Global Action on Gun Violence, said that the ruling is a big step toward making the gun industry take responsibility for the violence caused by guns and stopping the flow of illegal guns to the cartels.

“The Court agreed that another country has the right to sue the U. S” “Gun companies can no longer hide behind the legal protection they have had since 2005,” he said.

Larry Keane, who is a leader at a group that represents the US gun industry, supported the companies that make guns.

Mexico needs to focus on making sure its laws are followed and punishing its own criminals in its own courts. They shouldn’t blame the gun industry for their failure to keep their citizens safe.

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