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US Appeals Court Backs Mexico in Landmark Arms Trafficking Case

Mexico City – In an unprecedented decision, on January 22, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, Massachusetts ruled in favor of the Government of Mexico on appeal.

The three-judge panel unanimously ruled that Mexico had successfully demonstrated that the arms manufacturers and distributors do not enjoy immunity for their negligent business practices, which facilitate the illicit trafficking of their products into Mexico.

In August 2021, the Government of Mexico filed a civil lawsuit for damages against U.S. gun manufacturers that, through their carelessness and negligence, actively facilitate the trafficking of their products into Mexican territory.

In September 2022, the trial court judge dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that a federal law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protected and gave immunity to the defendant companies even when the damage caused by their carelessness and negligence occurred in Mexican territory. Mexico then filed an appeal.

Mexico’s lawsuit is the first brought by a foreign State against the gun industry in U.S. courts. In this afternoon’s unprecedented ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the lower-court judge’s decision dismissing the case and ordered that the matter be returned to the trial court for further proceedings.

Mexico welcomes the ruling by the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which was very receptive to the sophisticated arguments presented by our country in defense of its interests and those of its people. Once the case returns to the lower court, Mexico will present evidence to demonstrate the defendants’ negligence and seek reparation for damages, which will be determined by the judge.

The trafficking of firearms and the violence committed with them have a serious impact on the lives of our people and the development of our country.

The Government of Mexico will continue to take all possible actions to combat this evil, and will keep the public informed as the case continues.

Source: Gobierno de México

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