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Court Revives Mexico’s Lawsuit Against Six U.S. Gun Manufacturers

A $10 billion lawsuit filed by Mexico against U.S. gun manufacturers whose weapons are used by drug cartels can proceed, The New York Times reports. On Monday, a federal appeals panel in Boston reversed a lower court that had dismissed the case. The decision is likely to be appealed. It’s seen as one of the most significant setbacks for gunmakers since passage of a federal law nearly two decades ago that has provided immunity from lawsuits brought by the families of people killed and injured by their weapons.

Mexico first sued six manufacturers in 2021, including Smith & Wesson, Glock and Ruger. It contended that the companies should be held liable for the trafficking of a half-million guns across the border a year, some of which were used in murders. Data shows that about 70 to 90 percent of guns trafficked in Mexico originated in the United States, according to Everytown Law, the legal arm of the gun control group founded by the former mayor of New York Michael R. Bloomberg. The suit had been thrown out in September 2022 by a federal judge who ruled that the law prohibits legal action brought by foreign governments. But on Monday, Judge William J. Kayatta Jr., an Obama appointee who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, writing for a unanimous majority, revived the lawsuit. The ruling said that plaintiffs had made a “plausible” argument that their case was “statutorily exempt” from the immunity shield.


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