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$10b lawsuit by Mexico to hold gun makers accountable for weapon trafficking revived

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune News Editor

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

A US appeals court on Monday revived a $10 billion lawsuit by Mexico seeking to hold American gun manufacturers responsible for facilitating the trafficking of weapons to drug cartels across the US-Mexico border, according to Reuters.

The matter has local significance because The Bahamas signed on to support Mexico as a friend of the court last year.

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 2022, with a finding that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act barred such lawsuits.

However, the Mexican government, in its appeal, insisted that the arms industry should be accountable for how their products are distributed and sold.

The New York Times reported on Monday that the decision by a federal appeals panel in Boston to let the lawsuit proceed was a significant setback for gunmakers.

The Times reported: “About 70 to 90 per cent of guns trafficked in Mexico originated in the United States, according to Everytown Law, the legal arm of the gun control group founded by the former mayor of New York, Michael R. Bloomberg.”

Last year, Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis said it would be difficult for Mexico to win its case, but The Bahamas needed to support the action to send a strong message to US lawmakers.

“We are sending a strong message that we will not tolerate the unchecked flow of illegal firearms into our nations and that we expect the international community, including gun manufacturers, to respect and support our efforts to protect our citizens,” Mr Davis said.

Gun rights are a divisive issue in US politics. Mr Davis was careful to say The Bahamas is not expressing a view on the right of US residents to bear arms.

“This is not an action against the United States,” he said. “Of course, I would have said directly to the US authorities on any number of occasions, we are not concerned about their interpretation of the right to bear arms, which is their constitutional right, and we’re not interfering or in any way joining in that discussion or debate about what that means. But what we are (urging) in our view is that the right to bear arms cannot mean a right to traffic in arms to the extent that it has the consequences that it is having in our jurisdictions.”

Comments

DWW 2 months, 3 weeks ago

is this where we talk about reality of life in Da Bahamas or are we still doing the head in the sand thing?

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