US gun makers asked a Massachusetts court to drop a lawsuit filed against them by the Mexican government for alleged negligence and illegal business practices that allowed their weapons to enter Mexico and encourage violence in the country.

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The Mexican government filed suit in August. The foreign ministry said that in 2019, at least 17,000 killings were linked to smuggled weapons. According to the Associated Press, the country’s officials estimate that 70 percent of the weapons smuggled into Mexico came from the US.

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In the lawsuit, the government said the companies were not only aware that their practices were contributing to the smuggling of arms into Mexico, but were also facilitating it. He demanded compensation from the companies and changes in the policy.

The lawsuit was filed against large gun manufacturers including Beretta USA Corp., Smith & Wesson, Colts Manufacturing, Glock Inc., and Sturm, Ruger & Co. The suit also includes Boston-area wholesaler Interstate Arms, which sells guns from most of them. manufacturers to dealers across the country.

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Gun maker Beretta argued that the Mexican government had no evidence linking their sale in Massachusetts to the crimes outlined in the suit. They also argued that the Massachusetts Court does not have jurisdiction, as Beretta is located in Maryland and the damages described in the suit occurred in Mexico.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

“Plaintiff is the Government of Mexico. Beretta is a Maryland corporation with its corporate home, headquarters, and principal place of business in Maryland. And the damages that Plaintiff seeks to redress occurred in Mexico,” Beretta USA Corp wrote in a document Monday. filed in the court.

“Plaintiffs do not allege that criminals in Mexico used, obtained or purchased firearms sold by Beretta in Massachusetts,” the company also argued.

On Monday, Alejandro Celorio, legal adviser at the ministry, said via Twitter that his legal team would analyze the producers’ reactions. Mexico has until January 31 to file its formal reply.

“Today the litigation is not won, nor lost,” wrote Sellorio.

The filing came on the same day that Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard told the UN Security Council that the UN should do more because efforts so far to control small arms smuggling were “inadequate”.

Mexico currently holds the rotating presidency of the council.

“Private actors should contribute to the decisive task of self-regulation and monitoring of their distribution chain to avoid diversion and illegal smuggling of the guns they produce and sell, as well as ensure that what they sell under the law They don’t get involved in criminal hands,” Ebrard said.