Mexico sued several gun makers in a U.S. federal court on Wednesday, accusing them of reckless business practices that supply what it called a torrent of illegal arms to violent Mexican drug cartels, leading to thousands of deaths.
“Guns and Ganja” was the headline in the Mexico`s top-selling newspaper.
“Today, they kill,” read the front-page headline of El Universal, a major broadsheet newspaper.
“Thousands of Mexicans die every year because of guns and drugs,” the front-page headline read. “What`s to be done?”
A joint investigation by the Associated Press, National Geographic Television and other news agencies revealed how the Mexican government and the powerful drug baronate are involved in a business deal to get guns to drug gangs, who then fire them, leading to huge numbers of Mexicans dead.
The Mexican Attorney General`s Office sued several gun manufacturers in the U.S. federal court on Wednesday, accusing them of reckless business practices that supply what it called a torrent of illegal arms to violent Mexican drug cartels, leading to thousands of deaths.
“This lawsuit is an effort to prevent any further deaths,” the attorney general`s office said in a statement. “This lawsuit is also an effort to ensure that the firearms manufacturers who have acted recklessly will pay for their acts.”
The case was filed against Browning-Ferris Industries Inc, Colt America Inc and Bushmaster Firearms Inc, all of whom are based in the U.S., Remington Arms Co, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp, and Glock America Inc, which are based in Europe.
In addition to the charges, the attorney general`s office said they would request that gun manufacturers pay a $5 million fine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. has estimated that some 46,000 Mexicans die in firearm-related violence every year. However, this estimate may be an underestimate because it relies on a survey that was not nationally representative.
The attorney general`s office alleged in the suit that the manufacturers knowingly provided weapons to Mexican drug cartels, without providing adequate procedures to insure that the weapons were not used in crimes.
“The manufacturers deliberately failed to ensure that the weapons they provided to the Mexican government were not trafficked and used to commit crimes,” the office said. “In addition, the manufacturers deliberately failed to conduct tests to ensure that the firearms would function properly in the firearm`s intended applications.”
The office accused Colt of knowingly selling weapons that had defects that prevented the weapons from functioning properly. Colt sold around 7,000 weapons to the Mexican military, which were later used by drug gang members. Colt said it was only required to conduct tests to ensure that the weapons were serviceable before it sold them to the Mexican military.
While the suit seeks a declaration from the states that the companies are liable, it is not clear whether the suit will lead to claims against individual weapons.
According to the attorney general`s office, the manufacturers “knowingly` allowed drugs and other substances to seep into the weapons that was `likely to result in `increased` crime. The lawsuit also `knew` that it `could` cause crime to increase if the products were not adequately maintained.
“The manufacturers knowingly, intentionally, and willfully sold a dangerous product that was `likely to` cause significant injury and that was `intentionally and willfully` sold defective products that were `likely to` cause serious injury,” the attorney general`s office said.
The suit says the products have been deemed dangerous for those who handled them. However, the states have not been able to prove a link between the weapons and an increase in crime.
“The manufacturers knowingly, intentionally, and willfully sold a dangerous product that was dangerous for those who handled the product,” the suit said. “In addition, the manufacturers knowingly, intentionally, and willfully sold a defective product that was dangerous for those who used the product.
“The manufacturers knowingly, intentionally, and willfully sold a product that was dangerous for those who used the product,” the suit said.
It is a legal fact that the weapons are dangerous. The fact that the company knew about the problem and did nothing about it is the real crime in this story. The attorney general of the state is suing them for this crime and it is sure to have a big impact on all the companies in the future. This is sure to have a long lasting impact on the whole company.
Contributed courtesy of Ward Maedgen Accident Attorneys - Dallas