Allowing Mexico’s Suit Against American Gun Makers to Go Forward Would Mean Limitless Liability for US Companies

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Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Mass (Dan Z. for TTAG

Mexico’s lawsuit proposes to circumvent the application of the PLCAA by arguing this law does not apply because the shooting crimes committed by members of Mexican drug cartels took place in Mexico. This argument, however, conflicts with Congress’s express objective in the PLCAA to preclude liability against U.S. firearm companies for others’ criminal or unlawful misuse of firearms “shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

As Congress appreciated, massive liability exposure could halt the lawful sale of firearms and enable backdoor industry “regulation through litigation.”

Allowing foreign countries such as Mexico to override the will of Congress and target the U.S. firearms industry would also create a host of new, troubling precedents. It would mean anyone who is shot by a U.S.-made firearm anywhere in the world (except the U.S.) could potentially sue the firearm’s manufacturer, even where the shooting was committed by a foreign criminal in a foreign country.

If U.S. courts determined the PLCAA does not bar such actions, foreign countries would also be emboldened to apply their own notions of liability law in a case. That means traditional defenses to liability could go out the window and allow claims based on crimes committed with firearms that changed hands many times over the span of years or even decades.

As a result, virtually limitless liability could be imposed against U.S. companies in a fundamentally unjust and arbitrary manner.

— Victor E. Schwartz in Courts should reject Mexico’s suit vs. U.S. firearm makers

 

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28 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder who/which country/which government the victims of future terrorist acts and incursions will sue when the Taliban starts to use all those gifts the Alzheimer’s in Chief left them?

    • I’m going to sue China for making low quality counterfeits, and I’m going to sue Mexico for selling fruit with too much pesticide on it.

      I wonder if either country will bother with my claim. Don’t know why the US is entertaining their claim (psssst: They have no claim).

    • The Tallys will be filing warranty claims against the US when the toys we left them break. Then when they crash the choppers ……….

    • While we are at it, I suggest class action lawsuits against Mexico for 1. allowing and encouraging their citizens to illegally enter and remain in the US; 2. allowing and facilitating the transit of their territory by citizens of other nations for the purpose of illegal entry of the US; 3. allowing known organized crime cartels to operate transnational criminal enterprises within their territory; 4. Permitting those same international criminals to export dangerous and illegal drugs into the US.

      We need the GOP to push legislation allowing US citizens and the several states to directly pursue legal action against Mexico for all the above.

      • This Gringo says Mexico needs to back up the taco wagon and start from square one. Square one are the drugs coming from Mexico into the US. That means the root of their complaint comes straight from of their own backyard.

        Monkey see monkey do Mexico is attempting to profit from what they see in the media as courtroom bias against firearms in the US. Look how CA runs to overturn any ruling that takes a tooth out of Gun Control. If you are not onboard with Gun Control you are out of touch, you are a knuckle dragger racist lowlife. No judge cowering to the man behind the curtain wants to upset the apple-cart and rule in favor of such perceived filth even if the filth is right.

        Unfortunately the aforementioned happens when knee jerk headline reading Gun Owners get their panties in a wad and fixate on Bump Stocks, the NRA, etc. Time after time such distractions allows Gun Control and its long, long history of diabolical rot to skate on by without so much as receiving a scratch.

        What matters is stopping Gun Control from skating away by weighing it down with its very own diabolical baggage. Far too often what seems to matter to so called defenders of the 2A might as well boil down to the level of deciding whether slave shacks should have dirt floors or wood floors.

  2. From the referenced article :

    “Mexico’s lawsuit may be unique in terms of sheer audacity, but it is hardly the first lawsuit seeking to impose liability against firearm industry members for harms caused by criminals who misuse a firearm to kill or injure others. Such lawsuits have been tried and rejected for decades. Courts have recognized these lawsuits fly in the face of a bedrock principle of liability law, namely that the person who intentionally misuses a firearm (or any product) to injure someone –– not the product’s manufacturer –– is responsible for that injury.”

    They are playing the long game on this.

    For how many years were cigarette companies sued for wrongful deaths? And thrown out of court to the peals of laughter?

    Until one day, they got a judgement against them and the floodgates opened wide.

    Leftist scum will use the cigarette lawsuit strategy against the 2A…

    • It’s very different. The tobacco companies had internal studies linking their products to health problems and refused to warn their customers. You will not find one firearms company email that says that their guns are illegally winding up in Mexico, and that they should exploit that fact to sell more guns.

      The case should be thrown out, but I selfishly want it to go through a few levels of appeals first, so the precedent will be wider ranging. Mexico will be on the hook for all legal fees and can’t claim bankruptcy, like some of the other PLCAA plaintiffs did.

      • “The tobacco companies had internal studies linking their products to health problems and refused to warn their customers.”

        So, why do you think the US CDC has been trying to push their “data” and future “studies”? A government agency is claiming that, firearms owners and firearms makers are knowingly causing a deadly disease. The common term used by the govt on the left for the rash of absolutely ,government-allowed shootings, is “epidemic”…

        See the similarity now???

        • Probably because they know for a fact exactly what Mexican nationals know, and have known for a long time.

          That the US funds both sides of the drug war and has turned Mexico into a failed state. We buy the drugs and we ship the guns.

          The guns come, mostly, direct from our government in the form of aid along with gear, training and a bunch of other stuff. What, you think the cartels buy those M240Bs at Wally World in Texas then flex them on the ‘Gram? No, sir, that is not where they get that hardware.

          What happened in A-stan has been happening for decades in Mexico on a smaller scale. But don’t worry, it will cross the border in splashy ways soon enough.

  3. I will say this, I bet this gets squashed. Do you think that the MIC in this country (not talking small arms here) would want ANY part of this lawsuit to go forward? Imagine what happened if some “freedom fighter” gunned down a passenger plane with a Stinger Missile or something? I bet this goes NOWHERE based on that precedence.

    Also, can you imagine S&W or similar running discovery against the Mexican Government to show their corruption? I can’t imagine how this would end considering the relationships that used to exist in the Obama Days between the cartels and terrorism in the middle east.

    • Especially since the cartels have been caught with FIM-92s in the past.

      Back in 2016 was the first time they got nabbed, IIRC.

  4. Well if you believe in open borders? Like Libertarians Liberals and the Leftists do. Then this lawsuit makes perfect sense.

    If it means destroying “the system” that is something they support.

    Because of the laws recently passed in the state of Texas. Will Texas tell the federal government to go pound sand, if the Mexicans try to sue Firearms businesses located inside Texas borders?

      • to Mark N.
        Don’t you think the 10th Amendment and Nullification combined, would take care of this Federal issue? For a Texas-based business and Texas citizens? Historically the states used to tell the federal government to go pound sand all the time. And during that time, we went from 13 colonies to 50 states in about 400 years.

      • You are correct. The RINO’s are for open borders. They support child molesters coming across an open border, as well as foreigners who are undermining young American job seekers. Just like you do.

        Senator Lindsey “Grahamnesty” (R) from South Carolina is a great example of a RINO.

    • What you believe about borders is, at this point, irrelevant.

      What matters is threefold.

      1) You don’t have one with Mexico.
      2) The shit pouring in here, and not just illegals or drugs, would make your head spin.
      3) At this point there’s not shit you can do about this.

    • I’ll bet manufacturer’s liability for criminals misuse of their products won’t end with firearms companies. Automotive manufacturers, brewers, distillers, and others in making, distribution, and sale will be he held responsible.

    • And as far as the Mexicans are concerned, as long as the drugs go north and the money flows south it’s time for a siesta.

      • Drugs, trafficked hookers, trafficked children, smuggled “others”, weapons, explosives and a bunch of other shit too…

        The small town in Colorado that I live outside of is, so far as I can tell, essentially a wholly owned subsidiary of a Mexican cartel. The whole city government. And it’s been that way for years. Shit, a guy audits the water department and finds a nearly $100 million illegal slush fund with links to the mayor, city council, a bunch of businesses and some really shady motherfuckers too. And who’s suddenly looking for him? First bangers then, within a week, a bunch of narcos from down south. I wonder why?

        And, at this point, no one gives a fuck. They can’t believe what they don’t want to see.

        When you see some of the connections in larger cities and how they’re helping fund the “Defund the Police” movement… well, as Zach De La Rocha said “How long? Not long”.

        “Then they started putting people into police academies at a young age and paying for people who are already on the force. To basically begin developing interests within police forces. Um, then they started investing in the career paths of lawyers, doctors. People who would have a immigration process stateside. So, now they had distribution people catching on them the other side of the border that had a vested interest in keeping, because they paid for my immigration process so now I need to work with these people.

        So, they started building a, a, a, they start spreading out an influence in a, a region, right? And, eventually, you know, they gained control over politics as well. You start seeing some of their tendrils go into politics as well. And, you’ll see a corrosion and usually that corrosion leads into a distrust or a corrosion of confidence in police forces.

        Guess where we are here in the States? I lived through that down there and I know where it leads.”

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