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Mexico celebrates second victory in war against U.S. firearm dealers

The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona issued a favorable ruling for Mexico in its lawsuit against five firearm dealers in the United States

Archive photo of the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Alicia Bárcena.
Archive photo of the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Alicia Bárcena. | EFE

March 26, 2024 9:01am

Updated: March 26, 2024 9:25am

A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Monday that the Mexican government can proceed with a lawsuit alleging that five Arizona gun dealers were involved in trafficking weapons and ammunition to drug cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Alicia Barcena celebrated a ruling from the District of Arizona that cleared the path for Mexico to continue its lawsuit against five U.S. firearm dealers. 

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Marquez dismissed the Plaintiff's claims, asserting that a federal law shielding the firearms industry from lawsuits over product misuse prevented Mexico's accusations against the gun dealers.

The litigation began in October 2020, when the Mexican government initiated legal actions arguing that these stores facilitated the trafficking of high-powered weapons into Mexico, according to traceability data.

The U.S. District Court said that Mexico has the right to file the lawsuit on its own behalf and on behalf of its population, emphasizing that the firearms stores are not exempt from liability for their negligent business practices.

The legal process will continue with the presentation of new evidence by Mexico to demonstrate the negligent conduct of these firearms companies in the United States, with the aim of obtaining compensation for the damage caused by the illegal trafficking of weapons.

Diamondback Shooting Sports Inc, SnG Tactical LLC, Loan Prairie LLC, Ammo A-Z LLC, and Sprague's Sports Inc, the defendants, claimed that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protected them from Mexico's 2022 lawsuit.

Although the companies being sued have the option to appeal, the SRE highlighted the relevance of this decision for Mexico and reiterated its conviction that it is supported both legally and morally in its fight against the illegal trafficking of weapons.

This ruling constitutes the second victory for Mexico in its battle against the illicit trafficking of weapons, adding to the success achieved in January 2024 in a court in Massachusetts where it was determined that firearms manufacturers are not immune from liability in certain instances.

This report was compiled with some information from EFE.