Mexico Sues Several Gunmakers, Alleges Company Practices Increase Illegal Guns From U.S.

The Mexican government sued several U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors Wednesday, accusing the companies of illegal practices that lead to increased gun violence and bloodshed in its country, the Associated Press reported.

Among those being sued are big names in gun manufacturing, such as Smith & Wesson Brands, Barret Firearms Manufacturing, Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Colt's Manufacturing Co. and Glock.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Boston. It names as another defendant Interstate Arms, a Boston-area wholesaler that sells guns from all but one of the named manufacturers to U.S. dealers, the AP said.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

Mexico Sues U.S. Gun Manufacturers
Mexico's government is suing U.S. gun manufacturers and distributors, arguing that their negligent and illegal commercial practices have unleashed tremendous bloodshed in Mexico. Above, on February 13, 2019, representatives from the FBI and the Los Angeles police display weapons seized after a raid. Mark Ralston/Getty Images

The Mexican government argues that the companies know that their practices contribute to the trafficking of guns to Mexico and facilitate it. Mexico wants compensation for the havoc the guns have wrought in its country.

The Mexican government "brings this action to put an end to the massive damage that the Defendants cause by actively facilitating the unlawful trafficking of their guns to drug cartels and other criminals in Mexico," the lawsuit said. It noted that the vast majority of guns recovered at crime scenes in Mexico were trafficked from the U.S.

The sale of firearms is severely restricted in Mexico and controlled by the Defense Department. But thousands of guns are smuggled into Mexico by the country's powerful drug cartels.

In August 2019, a gunman killed 23 people in a Walmart, including some Mexican citizens. At that time, Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the government would explore its legal options. The government said Wednesday that recent rulings in U.S. courts contributed to its decision to file the lawsuit.

It cited a decision in California allowing a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson to move forward, a lawsuit filed last week against Century Arms related to a 2019 shooting in Gilroy, California, and the $33 million settlement reached by Remington with some of the families whose children were killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting in 2012.

Mexico Sues U.S. Gun Manufacturers
Troy Bacon, left, and Ken Schiedemeyer look over the Smith & Wesson handgun display at the National Rifle Association's convention in Milwaukee on May 19, 2006. Jeff Haynes/Getty Images