• The Mexican Government filed an appeal from the judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on the civil lawsuit against U.S.-based firearms manufacturers and distributors.

    • As part of its legal strategy against illicit arms trafficking, Mexico filed the appeal brief in opposition to the Boston District Court's ruling, which dismissed the Mexican Government's first civil action against firearms manufacturers and distributors in the United States.
    • The appeal insists that the U.S. law that grants immunities to those who manufacture and trade arms has no effect on damages caused in Mexican territory.

    Yesterday, the Mexican Government filed an appeal opposing the ruling issued by the District Court in Boston, Massachusetts. In that first instance ruling, the federal judge determined that a U.S. federal statute protects U.S. arms-manufacturers even when their conduct causes harm in Mexico.

    In August 2021, the Mexican Government filed a civil lawsuit for damages against companies that manufacture weapons in the United States, for their carelessness and negligence that actively facilitates their weapons being trafficked into Mexican territory.

    This litigation was halted when the district court judge determined that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), protects the defendant companies even when the damage caused by their carelessness and negligence occurs in Mexican territory. The appeal was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, based in Boston, Massachusetts. With this appeal, Mexico is requesting an analysis of whether the decision of the Boston District Court was in accordance with the law, particularly with respect to the non-applicability of PLCAA when there is a criminal use of weapons and consequent damage in Mexican territory.

    From the outset, the Government anticipated an appeal by whichever party lost in the district court in the first instance. The Government is confident in the legal arguments that it is advancing on appeal.

    On October 10, 2022, the Government filed a second lawsuit in the Federal District Court of Tucson against negligent retailers. Additionally, on November 11, 2022, Mexico requested an advisory opinion before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding the arms trade and its impact on human rights.

    With all these actions the Mexican Government is seeking to involve the actors that until now have not been involved in the fight against arms trafficking: the gun companies. There is a correlation between the negligent practices of companies and the arms trafficking that leads to violence in Mexico, as well as other crimes such as human trafficking and drug trafficking, particularly of fentanyl.

    A favorable decision in the court of appeals will allow the Government to prove its case on the merits –that the gun manufacturers’ marketing and distribution practices amount to actively facilitating the trafficking of their guns into Mexico.