Are Class Action Lawsuits a Strategy to Leverage Gun Control Laws?
Gun violence victims endlessly file wrongful death lawsuits for compensation for their losses against shooters, people who sell guns, and firearm manufacturers. The debate is whether firearm manufacturers can reduce gun violence. Tort reform may be the solution to leveraging gun control laws that keep firearms out of the hands of mental patients and criminals. Several cities in New York attempted mass tort lawsuits against firearm manufacturers. Lastly, in August 2021, Mexico filed a lawsuit against the United States and gun manufacturers in the United States to force them to control their firearms illegally trafficked into Mexico.
The United States House of Representatives
The House of Representatives discussed banning automatic assault rifles and the need to keep firearms out of the hands of mental patients. Schumer called white supremacist violence a threat to national security. Patrick Crusius (21) shot and killed Mexicans in an El Paso mall. Steny Hoyer added that the gunman who killed five employees at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28, 2018, was mentally ill. A United States Supreme Court Ruling against gun manufacturers may finally slow gun violence in the United States.
Class Action Lawsuits Against Firearm Manufacturers
The City of New York represented by the mayor, the speaker of the New York City Council, and New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation sued Baretta, Browning, Colt, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, Glock, Inc., and other gun manufacturers hoping to abate the public safety nuisance caused by reckless handgun sales. The United States District Court in Eastern New York refused to dismiss the lawsuit for the firearm manufacturers, but the court ordered both sides to appeal. The appellate court ruled that the criminal nuisance statute could not be applied to the sale of firearms.
Supreme Court Orders Remington to Pay Sandy Hook Shooting Victims
The families of children murdered in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012, successfully held Remington Arms responsible for the death of their loved ones. The Connecticut Supreme Court held Remington liable for its combat-ready weapon that killed 20 elementary school students, teachers, and parents. Wrongful death cases for the families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims won that Remington Arms violated Connecticut law when their "military weapon - delivered maximum carnage" in their elementary school. Profit-driven Remington marketed their semi-automatic weapons without regard for public safety. The U. S. Supreme Court denied Remington Arms attempt to appeal.
New York Governor Signed Gun Control Laws in July, 2021
Brooklyn Senator Myrie introduced a bill which holds firearm manufacturers accountable to shooting victims for their personal injuries or wrongful death. The bill directly challenged the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which gives gun manufacturers immunity from crimes committed with their products. New York Governor Cuomo signed gun control bills into law that deny felons and those with outstanding warrants the right to buy a firearm. Gun violence is taking its toll. The new law requires police to share incident data in "hot spots" and creates a "gun trafficking interdiction unit" within the New York State Police. Cuomo's executive order allocated $138.7 million for intervention and employment of at-risk youth.
Mexico Holds Firearm Manufacturers Responsible for Violence
Mexico is suing gun manufacturers in the United States, Smith and Wesson, Barrett Firearms, Beretta, Colt Manufacturing, Glock, Ruger, and four others for $10 billion. The detailed 135-page lawsuit insists that 70 to 90% of the gun violence in Mexico is due to firearms illegally imported from the United States. Mexico demands changes to gun policies in the United States to prevent criminals from easily transporting lethal weapons into Mexico.
United States Gun Manufacturers Breach Their Duty to Mexico's Citizens
The detailed lawsuit filed in the Massachusetts United States District Court hopes to prove that U.S. gunmakers breach their duty to distribute firearms safely. Drug cartels choose military-style AR-15 automatic weapons, AR-15 rifles, AK-47 rifles, and .50 caliber sniper rifles. The Estados Unidos Mexicanos present facts and examples for each manufacturer of the type of violence perpetrated with their products. The civil lawsuit holds the firearm manufacturers accountable for breaches of Mexican import laws, United States export laws, United States federal and state laws, and international trade and tariff laws. Mexico holds that the defendants are willfully blind to the facts and sell a significant amount of their dangerous products simply to maximize sales and profits without regard for the resulting deaths, destruction, and economic losses they create.
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