FAST AND FURIOUS II: Understanding the Mexico Lawsuit Against U.S. Gun Manufacturers | Joe Hoft

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FAST AND FURIOUS II: Understanding the Mexico Lawsuit Against U.S. Gun Manufacturers

Understanding the Mexico Lawsuit Against U.S. gun manufacturers

Guest post

The Obama administration’s disastrous “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal, where the U.S. government deliberately allowed firearms to be trafficked to Mexican drug cartels, is a prime example of how the current lawsuit against gun manufacturers by Mexico is rooted in the misguided decisions of American politicians, not the actions of lawful companies.

Fast and Furious

Under Fast and Furious during the Obama/Biden Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) instructed gun store owners to sell weapons to suspected criminals linked to Mexican cartels, with over 650 firearms purchased by straw purchasers as part of the operation. Many of these guns went missing and were later found at crime scenes on both sides of the border, including the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Despite mounting evidence and internal dissent from ATF agents, the Obama administration obstructed congressional investigations into Fast and Furious, demonstrating a lack of transparency and accountability.

This Fast and Furious scandal, in which the U.S. government became a de facto arms dealer to Mexican criminal organizations, should be considered one of the greatest scandals in American history and it highlights how the current lawsuit between Mexico and US gun manufacturers is misguided and unjust.

The Obama administration’s Fast and Furious Operation involved ATF agents instructing gun store owners to unlawfully sell firearms to suspected criminals linked to Mexican drug cartels. Over 650 firearms were purchased by straw purchasers as part of Fast and Furious. Many of these guns went missing and were later found at crime scenes on both sides of the Mexican American border, including at the murder scene of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

Despite mounting evidence and internal dissent from ATF agents who raised concerns about the flawed strategy of allowing guns to “walk” into criminal hands, the Obama administration obstructed congressional investigations into Fast and Furious. The Justice Department issued new policies prohibiting gunwalking only after being forced to do so by congressional hearings in 2011.

Six years later, Congress was still seeking documents related to the Justice Department’s response to the Fast and Furious investigation, highlighting the administration’s lack of transparency and accountability. The Fast and Furious scandal, in which the U.S. government deliberately armed Mexican criminal organizations, should be considered one of the greatest scandals in American history.

Fast and Furious II

The Biden/Obama Administration appears to be engaged in another Fast and Furious campaign involving guns and Mexico.  Since the Biden/Obama Administration cannot shut down gun manufacturers in the United States, it appears that they are relying on Mexico to do their dirty work.

Mexico is suing American gun manufacturers and some Democratic politicians and state attorneys general are supporting Mexico in its lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers:

  1. Thirteen states and Washington D.C., all led by Democratic attorneys general, have filed a brief opposing the gun manufacturers’ motion to dismiss the case. They argue the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) does not shield the companies from accountability.
  2. California Attorney General Rob Bonta stated that while the PLCAA may grant some protection, it does not provide a “free pass” for manufacturers to allow their products to end up in dangerous hands in Mexico.
  3. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey urged the court to acknowledge that gun manufacturers, dealers, and distributors can be held accountable for how their products are marketed or sold in ways that facilitate illegal trafficking to Mexico.
  4. The countries of Antigua and Barbuda and Belize have also filed amicus briefs in support of Mexico’s lawsuit, as well as a coalition of U.S. gun violence prevention organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center.

The opposition to the Mexico lawsuit appears to be coming primarily from Republican state attorneys general and lawmakers who have filed briefs urging the Supreme Court to hear the case and dismiss Mexico’s lawsuit.

Mexico’s $10 billion lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson, Colt, Glock, Beretta, and Ruger, alleges that these companies deliberately designed and marketed firearms to appeal to criminal organizations in Mexico. However, this lawsuit is misguided and unjust for several reasons:

  1. Guns are designed for lawful purposes: Firearms are tools primarily intended for self-defense, hunting, and sport shooting. While criminals can misuse them, the features Mexico cites, like compatibility with high-capacity magazines and removable serial numbers, are common on many firearms and do not necessarily make them attractive to criminals. The U.S. gun industry operates under strict regulations, and deliberately designing guns to appeal to criminals would be unethical and illegal.
  2. Marketing claims are unfounded: Mexico alleges that U.S. gun manufacturers’ marketing promises buyers a “tactical military experience” for civilians, encouraging illegal use. However, this claim is not supported by evidence. Responsible gun companies promote the lawful use of their products through educational materials and safety programs.
  3. The Obama administration’s Fast and Furious scandal: In a misguided attempt to track weapons, the Obama administration’s Operation Fast and Furious allowed a significant number of firearms to potentially end up with Mexican drug cartels. The U.S. government became a de facto arms dealer to Mexican criminals, a scandal that should be considered one of the greatest in American history. This was not the gun manufacturers’ idea or doing.
  4. The Iran-Contra affair: During the Reagan administration, the U.S. government secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was then used to fund the Contras rebel group in Nicaragua. This scandal, like Fast and Furious, demonstrates that the U.S. government has a history of involvement in the illicit arms trade, not the gun manufacturers.
  5. Holding manufacturers accountable for criminals’ actions: Merely selling a product that someone later uses in a crime does not make the manufacturer responsible. Criminals, not manufacturers, are to blame for gun violence in Mexico. Holding U.S. companies accountable for the criminal misuse of their products sets a dangerous precedent and could bankrupt the firearms industry.

In conclusion, the Supreme Court should reject Mexico’s lawsuit against U.S. gun manufacturers. The claims are unfounded, and the lawsuit seeks to hold companies responsible for the actions of criminals and the U.S. government’s own misguided policies. Upholding this lawsuit would set a dangerous precedent and undermine the lawful firearms industry.

Biden/Obama’s Fast and Furious II appears to be the continuation of this regime’s attack on the 2nd amendment. 

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