SAF Files Amicus Brief with SCOTUS in Smith & Wesson v. Mexico Lawsuit

Posted by Second Amendment Foundation on 6/3/24 4:46 PM
Second Amendment Foundation


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In August 2021, the Mexican government filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against Smith & Wesson and other gun manufacturers alleging the companies facilitated illegal gun trafficking into Mexico. In essence, Mexico is blaming companies in the United States (as well as Austria and Italy) for the rise in violence in the country. The suit seeks billions in damages from the manufacturers named in the suit.

Thankfully, in 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) exempting firearms and ammunition manufacturers from liability for claims brought by victims of criminal acts. It was on this basis that the lower court dismissed the original lawsuit.

Attorneys for the Mexican government, however, quickly appealed the ruling, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed the lower court’s decision. Smith & Wesson, along with the other defendants, have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari. SAF has filed a brief with the high court in support of the manufacturers and urging the Court to grant cert.

SAF’s brief plainly states that the Mexican government’s demand for literally billions of dollars in damages for the criminal acts of third parties is exactly the kind of thing the PLCAA was designed to prevent.

In a release distributed to the media, SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut said: “As our brief explains, allowing Mexico to prevail in suing firearm manufacturers for the criminal acts of third parties defies logic and would embolden a new round of lawfare against industry members. Ultimately, these lawsuits would drive many manufacturers out of business and potentially impose requirements on firearm designs that have been rejected by Americans. In the end, it is the American citizens who would suffer, as their choices for arms would be limited to the few surviving manufacturers. The Second Amendment is meaningless without the ability to acquire arms.”

The implications of the First Circuit’s decision being allowed to stand would open the floodgates to frivolous litigation that otherwise would have no merit and could potentially irreversibly harm the industry as well as the general public. Should the Supreme Court grant cert and reverse the First Circuit’s ruling, it would ensure that lawsuits stemming from the criminal acts of third parties would not be a viable pathway to bankrupt the firearms manufacturing industry.

Should you have any questions or need more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with SAF Senior Vice President/Vice President of Development Lauren Hill at If you would like more detailed information on this case, or any of the more than 55 active cases in which SAF is involved, visit where all current cases are listed under the Legal Action section.

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