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BAHAMAS JOINS LAWSUIT DEMANDING US GUN MAKERS ‘PAY UP $10BN’: Case holds manufacturers accountable for harm caused by their products

Some of the guns put on display after being seized by police previously in The Bahamas and (inset) Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis speaking last year at the United Nations on the issue of gun smuggling.

Some of the guns put on display after being seized by police previously in The Bahamas and (inset) Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis speaking last year at the United Nations on the issue of gun smuggling.

THE Bahamas has joined a $10bn lawsuit to hold US gun manufacturers to account for the spread of firearms throughout the region, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said last night.

Mr Davis issued a statement in which he said the government was joining an appeal in the United States Court of Appeal in the First Circuit in support of Mexico “to hold US gun manufacturers liable for the harm caused by their products”.

Also joining in the amicus curiae brief (friend of the court) were Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The defendants in the $10bn suit include seven major gun manufacturers and one gun wholesaler and distributor.

The case was dismissed in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts in September last year, finding that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act barred such lawsuits, but the Mexican government in its appeal “maintains that the arms industry should be accountable for how their products are distributed and sold,” Mr Davis noted.

He said in a statement last night: “The guns used in the commission of violent crimes in The Bahamas are not manufactured here, but instead, are manufactured abroad and illegally trafficked across our borders. A critical element of the government’s effort to reduce violent crime in our country is cracking down on the proliferation of firearms, with particular focus on strengthening borders and entry points and on interrupting networks of illegal smugglers.”

The legal brief states: “Unlawful trafficking of American firearms must be curtailed at its source: the US gun industry. The gun manufacturers and distributers from a single nation must not be permitted to hold hostage the law-abiding citizens of an entire region of the world,” and notes that the governments of the participating countries “have a solemn duty to protect the lives, health, and security of their citizens.”

The brief added that the United Nations has shown that “firearms are key enablers of high homicide levels,” and notes that despite comprising less than 1% of the world’s population, the Caribbean records 23% of all homicides.

The brief argues that US gun industry practices, including the bulk sales of guns to dealers who are known to engage in practices correlated with illegal weapons smuggling, have caused significant harm to the countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region.

It points to the increase in gun violence in The Bahamas, including unintended victims, such as children caught in the crossfire. It also points to the use of firearms by Haitian gangs in violent crimes and kidnapping, which has led many Haitian migrants to flee their country.

The legal move calls for reducing violence abroad by adopting retail practices, including committing to only work with dealers who take measures to stop guns being sold to criminals, and changing how guns are made to reduce the harm they cause.

Last year, Mr Davis argued at the United Nations that gun smuggling was having a major affect on The Bahamas. Speaking in September, he said: “We do not manufacture guns in our country, and yet they illegally find their way to The Bahamas, and within days, can be connected to some criminal activity.”

He added at the time: “We believe more manageable and effective efforts can be made at the source, to ensure that a right to bear arms does not quickly and easily translate into a right to traffic arms.”

Comments

bahamianson 1 year, 2 months ago

Ok, so the bahamas gets 5 billion dollars and the politicians take it all.

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moncurcool 1 year, 2 months ago

How do you blame the gun manufacturers for the illegal arms in the Bahamas?

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Baha10 1 year, 2 months ago

This latest desperate attempt to grab a “freebie handout” has no chance of success … much like Slavery Reparations from England … Climate Change Reparations from the Industrial World … next will be Compensation for Cocaine from Colombia, Marijuana from Jamaica, Fentanyl from China, Poachers from the DR, Refugees from Haiti and Cuba … problem is failure to secure our Borders is our responsibility … and breaks the chain of causation.

Harsh reality is we need to accept that we need to “work” to pay our bills and … not become dependent on “handouts”, otherwise we are simply “Beggars of the World”

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Maximilianotto 1 year, 2 months ago

Beggars of the world with offshore accounts from China to Channel Islands…

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TalRussell 1 year, 2 months ago

But firstly, shouldn't the premiership, be called upon to defend,--- Why, --- If it was truly said that --- 73 unnamed popoulaces' --- Were shooted from the barrels of the colony's --- Legally issued guns, --- Being in the hands of "unnamed" policemans', --- Then, how come,. --- All 73 policemans', --- Have gone --- Uncharged and allowed to remain on, --- Paid, pensions protected and vacation benefits active duty? --- But some may have shooted --- More than just the one popoulace.** --- Yes?

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carltonr61 1 year, 2 months ago

For Bahamian adolescent male, gun is a symbol of masculinity. In this female and rainbow dominated world makes face gun becomes the only manhood. The gun culture begins early in a boy's life that female lead households have multi-daddys but none serve as father the protector, the guide the positive bond and leader of masculinity. So adolescent young men huddle together playing with bullets fascinated by their smooth touch, pointed or dull tip and realize the weight if power, terror, control, macho, bigness, invincibility and control factor it represents. Then each boy testosterone flowing develops his masculinity around having one in his waist as an Alpha Male Leader. Boys will follow him and girls will adore him as a pack leader. The down side. The young gun owner after working to purchase one, $1,500.00 to $4,000.00 depending on the sophistication of chip, modifications, rounds, color, stopping power, rounds fired per minute. Some young men move on to go beyond mere fascination to terror reputation making themselves also marked men. Driven by females adrenaline rush for danger gun power also needs money. The reputation as a shooter means you live sleepless nights moving from safe location to the next always laying low avoiding both the Police and impending revenge death that is sure to come. With one life cycle ended living on as talking piece of entertainment exploits of who he spank and how many spank into him,soon another will enter the gun world. A short stressed out impoverished regretful life to live as street movie entertainer, only in this movie you star only once, a body bag transfers you to the grave and the streets big up another hero to die.

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Jetflt 1 year, 2 months ago

Gun makers make guns. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.

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AnObserver 1 year, 2 months ago

I slipped on a banana peel on the sidewalk. Can I sue Super Value for selling the banana?

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moncurcool 1 year, 2 months ago

No. You have to sue the farmer for growing the banana. Sure Davis would join in the suit.

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carltonr61 1 year, 2 months ago

The drug business class gunmen around the world and different regions use gun violence to influence national policies or to strong arm their growing or sales area with some having international touch ya ability. Guns mostly flow into The Bahamas by locals for profit after acquiring them from the streets where they a plentiful and readily available. Only the clean guns bought from a store could be traced to buyer so the underground is the main supplier. The dangerous gunmen are the robbers of innocent civilians. They are the economic gunmen. They maintain discipline and secrecy, valuing to enjoy their life. They would maim and kill to pay just a bill or purchase an item.

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AnObserver 1 year, 2 months ago

Whats next, suing WSC just because someone drowned in their pool? Suing MOW because someone died in a car accident? This is the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard.

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The_Oracle 1 year, 2 months ago

In a world turning itself upside down it is no surprise however Government aught to get its own affairs in order. ALWAYS FISHING AROUND TO BLAME SOMEONE ELSE. Zero Credibility or responsibility.

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BMW 1 year, 2 months ago

It is the police and customs that allow this to happen. Its called corruption! Corruption sees' 10 Billion and eyes lite up! Are the gun manufacturers smuggling the guns into the country, dont think so!

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LastManStanding 1 year, 2 months ago

This country is rapidly becoming (an even worse) international embarrassment. These people will come up with any cockamamie excuse to avoid taking personal responsibility for their actions.

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hrysippus 1 year, 2 months ago

This is a good idea. It will take years to bear fruit, decades even. But similar actions against manufacturers have worked in the past, most recently against pharmaceutical company Purdue, but also less recently cigarette and automobile manufacturers.

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alfalfa 1 year, 2 months ago

A losing battle. While I support the efforts of the PM, this will never win in court. Presidents, Congress, the Senate have all tried to fight this madness. To no avail. We need to tighten our controls here to stop illegal weapons from coming in.

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ThisIsOurs 1 year, 2 months ago

More words. Because someone here is profiting and once big money is involved, in The Bahamas, nothing is too illegal

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