August 18, 2023
A plan by the Mexican government to influence U.S. courts by using an international human rights court to bolster its $10 billion lawsuit against U.S. firearms manufacturers for alleged illegal gun trafficking is drawing fire from the trade association for the firearms industry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) says Mexico’s request for an advisory position from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights reveals the disdain for the sovereignty of U.S. law and constitutionally-protected freedoms enjoyed by Americans. On Aug. 16, NSSF filed an amicus brief in response to the request.
At issue is a $10 billion lawsuit brought by Mexico and that is currently being considered on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit after being dismissed by a U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Mexico has also brought a second case against five Arizona firearm retailers, baselessly accusing them of illegal international firearms trafficking. A motion to dismiss the case is pending.
“Mexico is attempting to improperly influence sovereign U.S. Courts by co-opting an international human rights court that has no jurisdiction on the pending appellate decision,” Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a news item released by the organization. “Mexican authorities failed to disclose this $10 billion lawsuit against U.S. manufacturers, a result of their own failures to confront narco-terrorists on their side of the border, which are responsible for the horrific crimes and illegal international firearms trafficking.”
While sympathetic to the plight of Mexican people who are besieged by the nation’s runaway, incredibly powerful drug cartels, Keane says the blame rests on the Mexican government, not American gunmakers.
“Mexico is attempting to co-opt the IACHR without having to answer how firearms are lawfully made and sold in the United States but illegally trafficked across the border through illegal criminal networks and corrupt government officials,” he said.
NSSF noted that Mexico’s abuse of the IAHCR is an attempt to attack the sovereign jurisdiction of U.S. Courts to attempt to compel a favorable decision that would trample constitutionally protected rights and punish the lawful firearm industry in a manner that is specifically prohibited under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years.