Mexico sues US gun makers for arming drug cartels
- Mexico claims reckless business practices of gun makers supply arms to violent drug cartels
- Mexico is seeking $10 billion in damages in the lawsuit
- US’ National Shooting Sports Foundation has come out in support of gun makers
Mexico has sued several US-based gun manufacturers in a US federal court for allegedly reckless business practices that supply a “torrent” of illegal arms to violent Mexican drug cartels, leading to thousands of deaths, according to a Reuters report.
According to the lawsuit filed by the Mexican government, units of Smith & Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Colt’s Manufacturing Company, Glock Inc, Sturm, Ruger & Co and others allegedly knowingly encouraged illegal arms trafficking into Mexico.
The lawsuit cites weapons that had found way into Mexico in notorious shootings. The lawsuit also noted that Colt’s .38 caliber “Emiliano Zapata 1911” pistol is engraved with the image of the Mexican revolutionary, and is greatly coveted by drug cartels.
Upon being asked what the objective was in pursuing such a lawsuit against the powerful US arms industry, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that the suit has been filed so that the companies “compensate Mexico’s government for the damage caused by their negligent practices”.
This lawsuit is one of the boldest steps taken by Mexico to take on the US arms industry, which according to Mexican leaders, has been fueling gang violence for years.
Mexican officials told the media that the lawsuit sought an estimated $10 billion. Companies need to put an immediate stop to their harmful practices, said the Mexican foreign minister.
While the companies against whom the lawsuit has been filed are yet to comment on it, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has come out in support of these gun manufacturers and rejected the claim that US-based gun makers were negligent in their business practices.
“The Mexican government is responsible for the rampant crime and corruption within their own borders,” said NSSF’s senior vice president Lawrence G. Keane adding that Mexican drug cartels use guns illegally taken to Mexico or stolen from the Mexican military and law enforcement.