NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas supports Mexico’s appeal in its $10 billion lawsuit to hold U.S. arms manufacturers accountable for facilitating the trafficking of deadly weapons.
Last November, a U.S. District Court in the District of Massachusetts dismissed the case against gunmakers Smith & Wesson Brands Inc, Sturm Ruger & Co and others it accused of undermining laws on the nation’s firearms by designing, marketing and selling military-style assaults. weapons that the drug cartels could use.
In a statement yesterday, Prime Minister Philip Davis reiterated that the weapons used in the commission of violent crimes in the Bahamas are not manufactured here, but rather overseas and illegally trafficked across the borders of this country.
“An essential element of the government’s effort to reduce violent crime in our country is cracking down on the proliferation of firearms, with particular emphasis on strengthening borders and entry points and on disruption of illegal smuggling rings,” Davis said.
He noted that as part of a broader effort to reduce the impact of gun violence in the country, the Bahamas joined an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief before the United Nations Court of Appeals. United States in the first circuit, in favor of Mexico. , which is appealing their case to hold U.S. arms manufacturers accountable for harm caused by their products.
The Bahamas were joined by Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Human Security (“SEHLAC”), a network of NGOs and affiliated professionals specializing in international humanitarian aid. law and the search for disarmament in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean.
The brief said, “The illegal trafficking of American firearms must be reduced to its source: the American firearms industry. The arms manufacturers and distributors of a single country must not be allowed to hold hostage the law-abiding citizens of an entire region of the world”, and notes that the governments of the participating countries “have the solemn duty to protect the life, health and safety of their citizens”.
The United Nations has shown that “firearms are the main catalysts for high levels of homicides”, according to the brief, which notes that although they represent less than 1% of the world’s population, the Caribbean has 23% of all homicides.
According to the statement, the brief argues that the practices of the U.S. firearms industry, including wholesale sales of firearms to dealers known to engage in practices correlated with the smuggling of illegal weapons , have caused significant damage to countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region.
“The brief highlights the increase in gun violence in the Bahamas, including the collateral damage to unintended victims, including Bahamian children caught in the crossfire in recent years. Another example of harm cited in the brief includes the use of guns by Haitian gangs in violent crimes and kidnappings, leading many Haitian migrants to flee their country,” Davis said.
He added: “The brief argues that the U.S. District Court could order the defendants, the U.S. firearms manufacturers, to reduce foreign violence involving their products by adopting “reasonable domestic sales practices. retail and manufacturing”, including refraining from supplying the small number of dealers “whose misconduct precipitates the vast majority of illegal firearms trafficking”, pledging to work only with dealers who take measures to ensure that guns are not sold to criminals, and to introduce manufacturing changes that would reduce the harm caused by firearms.
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