13 States Back Mexican Gov’t’s Lawsuit Against U.S. Gun Makers

California AG Rob Bonta was one of the signees. (Photo: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)

The Mexican government announced last summer its intention to sue U.S. gun makers for allegedly facilitating the trafficking of weapons to criminals in Mexico. Now, attorneys general in 13 states and Washington, D.C., have filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit.

The brief accuses Smith & Wesson, Beretta, Ruger, Glock, Century Arms, Barrett, and Colt; as well as gun distributor Interstate Arms of knowingly violating Connecticut and Massachusetts laws that govern trade practices and consumer protections.

Lawyers take aim at the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a 2005 law designed to shield gun makers from frivolous lawsuits like the one Mexico is seeking to bring.  

“In most industries, companies are well-aware that they can be held accountable if their product is defective or harmful to consumers — firearms should be no different,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta, one of the AG’s who signed the brief. “While the [PLCAA] may grant firearms manufacturers some protection, it is not a free pass to knowingly allow their products to land in dangerous hands.”

SEE ALSO: Mexico Suing American Gun Makers for Cartel Violence, NSSF Responds

Mexico filed its suit last August on the grounds that gun makers “design, market, distribute and sell guns in ways” that arm Mexican drug cartels.” These companies use “reckless and corrupt gun dealers and dangerous and illegal sales practices that the cartels rely on to get their guns,” the suit reads.

The amicus brief filed by U.S. attorneys general does not address the veracity of these claims. Instead, the lawyers argue that the PLCAA does not protect gun companies in this case because federal laws do not override state authority in areas like consumer protection. It’s unclear how violations of state law give the Mexican government standing to sue.

SEE ALSO: Mexico Proves More Gun Control Does Not Mean Less Crime

“These allegations are baseless. The Mexican government is responsible for the rampant crime and corruption within their own borders,” said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Mexico’s criminal activity is a direct result of the illicit drug trade, human trafficking and organized crime cartels that plague Mexico’s citizens.”

“Rather than seeking to scapegoat law-abiding American businesses, Mexican authorities must focus their efforts on bringing the cartels to justice,” he added.

The amicus brief was signed by attorneys general from Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawai‘i, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • DANNY R. BLACK February 16, 2022, 6:01 pm

    THE GUN MAKERS ARE NOT THE ONES SELLING THE GUNS IN MEXICO.BETTER START LOOKING AT POLITICIANS! SOME HAVE THEIR HANDS IN THE DRUG TRADE.LIKE IN VIETNAM,FREEZERS,FRIGIDARES,THAT NEEDED REPAIRING ,WOULD BE PACKED WITH OPIUM,HEROIN,HASH ETC,WITH A NOTICE ON THEM ATTN:A CONGRESSMAN IN HAWAII.SEE WHAT I’M SAYING.JUST MY OPINION.

  • Stephen February 14, 2022, 12:29 pm

    If the Mexican Gov’t weren’t such pussies, they might have a handle on their own affairs. Now you want to blame others for your ineptitude? You may want to get your heads out of your own asses and enforce your own laws before blaming others for your own problems! Clean up your own house before you bitch about mine!

  • Dale February 13, 2022, 2:45 pm

    I suppose this is the beginning of a long overdue civil war. Civil War 2. Sounds like a movie doesn’t it. All the states joining this Mexican lawsuit are enemies of the Constitution and the states defending the Constitution need to not only kick their asses, but also go down and stomp the shit out of one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Mexico. I remember a decade back standing on the beach at Cozumel and having drug dealers offer me whatever I wanted and not more than twenty feet away were three police officers standing around playing with themselves. I’m sure they were just waiting for me to take the bait so they could then hold me for ransom in a Mexican jail.

  • Chad February 13, 2022, 12:06 pm

    How can we sue Mexico for their corruption and drug dealing into the United states? And when are we going to declare it a real war on drugs and go over the border and kill every single person we can find that’s a criminal? Half the people I went to high school with are dead from drugs and nobody gives a fuck.

  • Peewee Gee February 12, 2022, 4:49 pm

    Mexico…heal thyselves from your cartel-coddling, corrupt national and local governing and your problem will be largely solved. The US will handle our end of the problem.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment February 12, 2022, 11:52 am

    Those state leaders should be tried and convicted of treason! It seems to me that aiding a foreign government to over throw the U.S. is punishable by death!!!

  • bobs your uncle February 11, 2022, 9:57 pm

    making it safe to conquer America. Tell us about the CCP general that bought thousands of acres next to U.S. air base

  • alex February 11, 2022, 8:04 pm

    this is one of the biggest asshole idea that i’ve heard in a long time!! talk about having HUGE balls!!!how about we sue mexico for all the illegal drugs that come over the border from mexico every single day! we lose 70,000 people a year from drug overdoses,how many people die in mexico from our firearms,and who’s doing all the shooting???i don’t think people from the USA are loading up and going over the border and killing Mexicans,IT”S MEXICANS KILLING MEXICANS!!! and their drug trade is killing Americans,WHERE ARE OUR SO CALLED REPUBLICAN LEADERS??? why aren’t they counter suing them??

  • build the wall February 11, 2022, 7:05 pm

    Scumbag worthless ignorant democrat AG’s siding with mexico. absolutely pathetic are these socialist state governments wasting taxpayers money. these idiots should be thrown out or punished somehow like one commentor said, stop selling them arms. but they cant bc the gun companies need the revenue for lawyers now. it is our government,the POS mexican government, and the rest the world arming the cartels. and why is michigan and minnesota with them?

  • ger February 11, 2022, 3:33 pm

    Pathetic. More virtue-signaling from anti-American politicians.
    This suit is like a serial killer suing his victims because if they hadn’t been his victims, he never would have been a serial killer.

  • Eric Stevenson February 11, 2022, 2:49 pm

    I guess it’s time to sue Mexico for all the illegal drugs coming across the border and oh yeah, how about the costs for the deportation of their citizens as well that are trying to escape the madness that Mexico allows to happen every day? Until then we should ship the illegals but with firearms so they can stand up to the cartels and protect themselves, hell, go ahead and overthrow your government while you are at it.

  • Hawaii resident February 11, 2022, 2:41 pm

    Wow…Hawaii is definitely run by morons…why don’t we sue Mexico for all the drugs coming into our state..hmmmmm…GOVERNOR IGE pushed the nuclear attack button and set HAWAII INTO CHAOS..HE ALSO FORGOT HIS PASSWORD ..ALL WHILE CLAIMING NORTH KOREA LAUNCHED A MISSILE AT US…PEOPLE DIED..PARENTS SHOVED KIDS IN SEWERS FOR WHAT…A MISTAKE….DUMB PEOPLE LEADING DUMB PEOPLE

  • James February 11, 2022, 1:30 pm

    First it was the Brady bunch joining Mexico in the lawsuit against gun manufacturer in America. Now the AG of 13 states join in the lawsuit. They are traitors to America !
    How did they even get in this political position?

    What’s next ? Will these same AG’s go after the Bill of Rights and the Constitution saying if they can ban them that will stop the Mexican cartels? I’m sure that’s next on their “New World Order” agenda.

    The cartels are worth billions. El Chapo, before he was arrested, was once the richest man on earth worth estimated $25 to $50 billion. The cartels buy full auto weapons from China along with chemicals to make illegal drugs.
    The cartels buy weapon on the world black market.
    They also get weapons from police and military in Mexico many who then join the cartels.

    Do these AG’s really believe that the cartels go into USA gun shops, fill out federal forms, get a background check, to purchase one firearm? This is just another back door attempt to ban firearms in America.

    The Mexican government purchases firearms from the USA, it’s police department orders guns from American manufacturer and do does it’s military, so of course they will have USA company information on them. So stop selling guns to Mexico police and it’s military!

    Mexico is currupt from local mayor’s to top government officials.

    Did you know that after the Mexican American war of 1848, the original treaty called for the USA to get all of Mexico to Mexico City, but the ambassador reworte the treaty to make the Rio grande river the border.

    The administration is having sections of the border wall taken down and sold off for scrap and this allows the cartels, M 13 gang members, M 18 gang members, drug dealers, felons, criminals, terrorists, spies, and prostitutes to come across the border and the administration welcomes them and the crime that they bring.

    Finish the border wall now!

    These gun banning groups and hunting banning groups are run and funded by Micheal Bloomberg, George Soros, the Chinese government, the U.N., Russia, North Korea and Mexico!

    During WW2 Germany and Japan had plans to invade the east coast and west coast of America. They also wanted Mexico to invade the southern border states promising Mexico that they would give them Arizona, New Mexico and Texas!
    But Germany, Japan and Mexico were afraid of all the Americans who owned firearms. Now they are joining up to ban all firearms in America.

    Now there are evil, far leftist power crazed politicians and AG’s who want to disarm all Americans and to make them their own personal “New World Order Slaves”!

    AOC and the squad want to repeal the 2nd amendment.
    AOC and the squad want to replace the Constitution and Bill of Rights with something out of Castro and Stalin communist handbook.
    AOC and the squad want to replace the American flag too.

    Protect and support your right to keep and own all types of firearms and accessories.

    Don’t allow these far leftist, Satan worshipping, power crazed politicians to restrict and ban firearms in America.

    Buy more guns, ammo and accessories now before it’s too late!

  • Gramps February 11, 2022, 1:29 pm

    Operation fast and furious, that sure did a number in regard to arming the Mexican cartels. Perhaps they should sue the federal government instead.

    • Fal Phil February 11, 2022, 2:07 pm

      Amen. If they don’t go after Eric Holder, they are nothing more than opportunistic hypocrits.

      Queue Blue Dog,

  • Paul Hillar February 11, 2022, 1:24 pm

    The mexicans were dealing with the communist left that sold them the arms, Obuttlick, holder, the chinese idiot from San Francisco, you know the illegal arms dealers of the left that never got convicted, accept the one from SFO., can you say “sacrificial”! The communist left here are just as bad as the dictatorial rulers in the crime ridden country of mexico! The police there are just as guilty, right up to the top dictators, they are all in bed with the cartels’, it’s all about greed and money! Fuck mexico and any other country that wants to sue us or our manufacturers! Start by cleaning up your own back yard before looking into mine!

    • D'zaster February 11, 2022, 6:35 pm

      applause

  • chris boyter February 11, 2022, 1:14 pm

    It’s the US politicians who allowed all of this to happen and in many cases were involved in the gun smuggling that should be sued.

  • Jason February 11, 2022, 12:51 pm

    I’ve seen RPG sevens hand grenades antipersonnel land lines and other military type munitions confiscated in cartel raids or left at scenes of crime committed by the The accused. What American gun store did they source that material from? Does anybody know the name of the gun store that Eric Holder owns? What’s next suing the car companies because they smuggle drugs across the border in Hidden compartments in Chevrolet‘s and Fords. Ford and GM should’ve known that their vehicles will be used to smuggle drugs into this country shame on them.

  • Snake February 11, 2022, 12:32 pm

    Like other commenters have already mentioned, this entire move is ridiculous, charging the company that has constructed a certain product, just because some idiot was screwing around with it, but I personally believe that this is another operation of the woke cancel culture. Because if they will get through with that, this would mean that you can truly just sue any company for just anything, which, in the end, may sue the company out of business, its employees into unemployment, bankruptcy and maybe even homelessness. And the more often this happens the more companies will vanish and, in the end, you have a poor, unstable country, which, I think, “they” consider ultimate paradise, a socialist one, of course.

    I already imagine how a woke snowflake will sue, for example, Jack Daniels, because he hit his head against the wall, which resulted in a concussion, after having walked against it, while being intoxicated, due to the amount of Whiskey he has drunk.

  • Nate February 11, 2022, 12:26 pm

    Time for all firearms manufacturers to band together and refuse to sell anything to the law enforcement agencies in those states.

  • fedup February 11, 2022, 11:54 am

    Sure. THT’S the reason your country is a crime ridden sh!7h@le.

    Which states joined suit?

  • Daniel S. February 11, 2022, 10:57 am

    This may be one of the BIGGEST crocks of BS I’ve ever read! They (Manufacturers) are RESPONSIBLE for the CARTELS being Armed!?!?!? The use corrupt Dealers??!?! If anyone is responsible, it is the Corrupt US Government, or certain individuals within various Government Departments/Offices. All; the Attorney Generals supporting this NONsensical Lawsuit should be required to STEP DOWN from their office.

  • James Spangler February 11, 2022, 10:46 am

    Turn about is fair play.

    History shows that Mexican government officials from the village level all the way up to the federal level have assisted the drug cartels and profited by facilitating the flow of drugs and humans into America.

    Logically the People of Mexico owe the people of America approximately 21 trillion dollars in damages accrued over the past century by not enforcing THE LAWS OF MEXICO and allowing the drug cartels to continue operating…

  • Ron February 11, 2022, 9:14 am

    Maybe Mexico should mind more of what is going on in their country and stop worrying about ours.

  • Ghost696 February 11, 2022, 8:59 am

    Mexico? A pest hole. And they use military grade weapons – bought, traded, and stolen from their military, as well as standard in payments with drug shipments. And everyone knows this. The only guns they got from the US were the ones Obama sold them.

  • Godfrey Washington February 11, 2022, 8:16 am

    Make sure you sue car manufacturers and farmers for providing food and mobility to the cartels!! Sue oil companies for the gas in those vehicles and Martha Stewart for delicious recipes that give them the nutrition needed to commit crimes! And Hollywood for making guns and violence look cool!

  • nobody February 11, 2022, 8:14 am

    what’s next, going after distilleries for drunk drivers or corn producers for growin corn used in fermentation..?
    does anyone notice how evil communistic agenda changes perception of right and wrong?

    • barnjoer February 11, 2022, 8:31 am

      And the US needs to sue Mexico for all the drugs they are allowing to come into the US that is killing our citizens!!

  • Swiss February 11, 2022, 7:12 am

    13 States helping a foreign country to attack US citizens (in court or not) is called treason.

    • Dan Peterson February 11, 2022, 11:13 am

      Illinois of course is one of the states, really sad how anti-American and unconstitutional the government of the state of Illinois is, as well as the federal government.

      • Hondo February 11, 2022, 1:13 pm

        With having that fat slob of a governor Prickster and the commie fools in Chitcago running that mess of a state I’m not at all surprised.

  • survivor50 February 10, 2022, 8:58 pm

    SOOO… the 13 USUAL SUSPECTS …

    How about SUING OBOZO and BIDUMB for ” FAST and FURIOUS ” ???

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