Federal Appeals Court decides that Mexico can sue US gun manufacturers

Mexico has been granted permission to sue a number of US gun manufacturers and a distributor by a federal appeals court. The court determined that Mexico’s legal claims are “statutorily exempt” from a statute that normally shields the corporations from accountability. In August 2021, Mexico filed the lawsuit, claiming that despite strict regulations, the defendants—among them, Smith & Wesson, Colt, and Glock—“design, market, distribute and sell guns in ways” that arm Mexican drug cartels and significantly contribute to an increase in gun violence within Mexico.


After Mexico filed an appeal, the US Circuit Court finally rejected the decision made by the lower court. “Mexico’s complaint plausibly alleges a type of claim that is statutorily exempt from the PLCAA’s general prohibition,” a three-judge panel in Boston said on Monday. Consequently, we overturn the district court’s decision that Mexico’s common law claims are barred by the PLCAA and remand the case for additional proceedings. In a news release on Monday, the Mexican government expressed its gratitude for the decision and stated that the matter will now go back to a lower court where the nation will provide proof to “demonstrate the defendants’ negligence” and ask for damages.


For their thoughts on Monday’s decision, CNN has been in touch with the defendants. In the past, a Glock official told CNN that the business would “vigorously” defend itself and that it was company policy not to comment on ongoing legal matters. A trade association representing the weapons industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, claimed earlier that the case and its objectives were misguided. NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane stated, “The Mexican government should focus on bringing the Mexican drug cartels to justice in Mexican courtrooms, not filing a baseless lawsuit in an American court to deflect attention from its disgraceful and corrupt failure to protect its citizens.”

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