“For decades the Government and its citizens have been victimized by a deadly flood of military-style and other particularly lethal guns that flows from the U.S. across the border, into criminal hands in Mexico,” the lawsuit said.
“This flood is not a natural phenomenon or an inevitable consequence of the gun business or of U.S. gun laws. It is the foreseeable result of the Defendants’ deliberate actions and business practices.”
The compensation would cover the costs of deaths and injuries to Mexican police and military personnel, social services to victims of gun crimes and their families, and bolstered law enforcement to prevent the trafficking of guns, among other costs.
Domestic laws in Mexico heavily restrict the sale of firearms in the country, and the Mexican government issues fewer than 50 gun permits each year, according to the lawsuit.
But the defendants undermine these laws, according to the lawsuit. An estimated half a million guns are smuggled from the U.S. into Mexico each year, and the defendants allegedly produce over 68% of them, the lawsuit said.
This means that they annually sell more than 340,000 guns that flow across the U.S.-Mexico border to criminals, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit says the defendants fail to regulate their gun distribution practices. They sell guns to any distributor or dealer with a U.S. license, regardless if they have a record of illegally selling guns to Mexico, the lawsuit alleges.
The defendants are also accused of marketing their lethal guns in ways that attract transnational criminal organizations, such as Mexican drug cartels. For example, Barrett Firearms markets one of its rifles as a “weapon of war,” but sells it to the general public without restrictions, the lawsuit noted.
The lawsuit alleges the defendants’ facilitation of gun trafficking has allowed criminals to attack Mexican military and police and ramp up extortion and kidnapping crimes.
Ebrard on Wednesday called on the U.S. gun manufacturers to end their business practices that contribute to violence and deaths in his country, Reuters reported. He believes the U.S. government, which is not mentioned in the lawsuit, is willing to work with Mexico to curb illegal arms trafficking.