Mexico has filed a lawsuit against several U.S. gun manufacturers over the flow of weapons across the southern border.
The complaint, filed in a Massachusetts federal court, alleges the gun-makers’ business practices have led to a “deadly flood of military-style and other particularly lethal guns” that are trafficked across the border.
Mexico further alleges that the gun-makers are “fully on notice of the massive trafficking of their guns into Mexico,” but have not implemented any measures to control the flow of weapons.
News of the suit was first reported by The Washington Post.
The suit was filed against Smith & Wesson, Beretta Firearms, Century International Arms, Colt, Glock and Ruger. These companies manufacture weapons that are “most often recovered in Mexico,” the complaint states.
The complaint also names Barrett, whose “.50 caliber sniper rifle is a weapon of war prized by the drug cartels.” Also named is Interstate Arms, the wholesaler through which most of the manufacturers sell their guns for resale.
The Mexican government alleges that the defendants “actively assist and facilitate” gun trafficking to maximize profits.
Mexico has “strong domestic laws that make it virtually impossible” for criminals to obtain weapons, according to the complaint. The defendants allegedly produce 68 percent of U.S.-origin trafficked guns.
The measure is likely to fail, as Congress passed a law in 2005 protecting gun companies from liability for harm caused by the unlawful use of guns.
Mexican officials said Wednesday that the government was seeking at least $10 billion in compensation, according to The Associated Press.
The complaint comes a day after the third anniversary of a 2019 shooting in which a gunman opened fire inside a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing more than 20 people.
The suspect in the shooting, Patrick Crusius, was charged last year with 90 counts under federal hate crime and firearm laws. Authorities cited a manifesto that said his actions were in response to a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The AP noted that Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said after the attack that he would explore legal options.