August 9, 2021

On August 4, 2021, Estados Unidos Mexicanos (Mexico) filed a Complaint in the District of Massachusetts against several firearms manufacturers and one distributor. Mexico deceptively claims that these defendants manufacture a large majority of the illegal firearms used to commit crimes in Mexico, especially those used by drug cartels. Mexico claims that the defendants could reduce the number of firearms illegally flowing into Mexico by putting in place undefined sales restrictions and distribution protocols. Mexico also believes that mandating integral locks and smart gun technology into firearms will cure Mexico’s crime problem.

Mexico is seeking monetary damages from the defendants to reimburse it for the “significant expenses” incurred for “police, emergency, health, prosecution, corrections, and other services, as well as other extensive economic losses.”  Mexican Foreign Ministry Officials claim in the U.S. newspapers that Mexico is seeking “up to $10 billion in damages.”

These allegations simply rehash old arguments that many U.S. municipalities tried to assert against the firearm industry more than 20 years ago, and which failed time and again before the courts. Many of these frivolous cases were finally ended with the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. However, Mexico’s frustration, due to its inability to protect its citizenry from cartel violence, is now manifesting itself into scapegoating a legal and highly regulated U.S. industry. U.S. firearms manufacturers and importers follow thousands of federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances. Mexico appears to be unhappy with the 2nd Amendment and is trying to regulate commerce within the U.S. through this litigation.

Several facts are important to remember when reading Mexico’s skewed claims. The United States is not the only source of firearms for Mexico’s cartels. Asia, South America and arms left over from civil wars in Central America all feed this market. It has been estimated that corrupt members and deserters from the Mexican military and police also supply a significant number of firearms to the cartels. And finally, while illegal smuggling of drugs, weapons and humans is a serious problem at the Mexico border, when you hear “90%” of recovered firearms in Mexico came from the U.S., several studies and articles that analyzed the data determined that close to 90% of firearms recovered in Mexico were not traced back to the U.S.   

Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor firearm related litigation and events around the country.  If you have any questions concerning firearms related legislation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.