MEXICO CITY, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Mexico will file a new lawsuit in the United States seeking responsibility for cross-border gun flows after a U.S. judge last week dismissed a separate $10 billion lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers, Mexico’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.
The lawsuit will be filed in Arizona, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said during a speech before Mexico’s Senate.
Mexico’s foreign ministry last week said it would appeal the Sept. 30 decision of a federal judge in Boston to dismiss the lawsuit Mexico filed last year seeking $10 billion in damages from U.S. gun companies, including Smith & Wesson Brands Inc and Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Mexico had accused the companies of reckless business practices that enabled the flow of guns to Mexico, undermining local law and leading to thousands of deaths.
During his speech on Wednesday, Ebrard referred to a bipartisan package of gun safety measures passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden in June. The law blocks gun sales to those convicted of abusing unmarried intimate partners and cracks down on gun sales to purchasers convicted of domestic violence.
“Illicit arms trafficking is already a crime in the United States,” Ebrard said.
“You have to start establishing criminal responsibilities because the companies that are selling these weapons in these counties (in Arizona), which are very few, of course they know where those weapons are going,” he added, but did not specify which companies he was referring to.
On Sept. 30, Judge F. Dennis Saylor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts threw out Mexico’s original lawsuit, saying U.S. law “unequivocally” bars lawsuits seeking to hold gun manufacturers responsible when people use guns for their intended purpose.
Ebrard said the issue will be “the primary topic” at meetings on border security and migration that Mexican and U.S. authorities will hold next week in Washington. (Reporting by Brendan O’Boyle and Raul Cortes Fernandez; Editing by Paul Simao)