Collaborating Against Liberty

by
posted on December 19, 2022
Jason Ouimet

From the very beginning, Americans haven’t taken kindly to people who join forces with outsiders to diminish American liberty. In the Declaration of Independence’s bill of grievances against King George III, the founders pointed to the monarch’s intended use of “large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny.” Therefore, it should generate considerable disgust that gun-control advocates are now collaborating with a foreign government to undermine the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.

Beginning in the 1990s, gun-control advocates started teaming with big-city politicians and anti-gun plaintiff’s attorneys to attack the U.S. firearms industry in the courts. In a departure from centuries of tort law, these activists sought to hold firearm companies liable for the third-party criminal misuse of their products. The goal of this effort was clear—to make it harder for Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights by making firearms prohibitively expensive and potentially put the U.S. gun industry out of business. In 2000, an attorney involved in the campaign told The Washington Post, “The legal fees alone are enough to bankrupt the industry.”

NRA pushed for strong legal protections for the firearm industry, and in 2005, Congress enacted the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The law enshrined long-established tort law into federal statute, making clear that gun manufacturers that follow the law cannot be held liable if criminals misuse their products.

Regardless of Congress’ unmistakable intent, the gun-control lobby and their attorneys have spent the better part of the last two decades concocting dubious schemes to weaken the PLCAA’s vital protections. However, collaborating with a foreign government is their most outrageous strategy to date.

In August 2021, the Mexican government filed a lawsuit against several prominent U.S. firearm manufacturers in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. As most gun owners know, the U.S. firearms industry is subject to stringent federal regulation. Despite this fact, the lawsuit alleged that the targeted companies were somehow responsible for Mexico’s violent crime problem.

In an effort to evade the PLCAA, the lawsuit argued that the U.S. federal court should ignore U.S. law and apply the laws of Mexico.

Mexico’s brazen attempt to deflect from its own inability to provide for the safety of its citizens by blaming its neighbor to the north is not all that surprising. What’s more concerning is American gun-control advocates’ willingness to collaborate.

The Mexico suit was filed with the help of gun-prohibition group Brady (formerly Handgun Control, Inc.), and specifically longtime Brady counsel Jonathan Lowy.

The anti-gun extremists at Brady weren’t the only Americans to side with the foreign power. More than a dozen states, along with the District of Columbia, filed an amicus brief supporting Mexico’s lawsuit. Further, more than two dozen district attorneys filed a separate amicus brief backing the Mexico case. Among the signees to that brief were some of the most anti-gun and soft-on-crime district attorneys in the country. The list included notorious DAs Chesa Boudin (formerly of San Francisco), Kim Foxx (Cook County/Chicago), George Gascón (L.A. County) and Larry Krasner (Philadelphia).

Despite the plaintiff’s interesting choice of venue, the district court judge proved more concerned with federal law than political advocacy. On Sept. 30, 2022, the judge dismissed Mexico’s case. In doing so, the judge cited the PLCAA, explaining, “This Court does not have the authority to ignore an act of Congress. Nor is its proper role to devise stratagems to avoid statutory commands…”

Following this decision, the Mexican government announced plans to appeal. Moreover, on Oct. 10, 2022, Mexico filed a federal suit in Arizona against five U.S. gun dealers. Once again, the suit was filed with the assistance of Lowy, this time working on behalf of the new group Global Action on Gun Violence.

An Oct. 17, 2022, Politico article, titled “Why a top official at a top gun control group left to become an agent of Mexico,” explained that this new organization intends to target the U.S. firearms industry on behalf of foreign governments. The item stated, “The group, which has not yet formally launched, intends to represent foreign governments or others rallying against the gun industry in lobbying and litigation.”

The piece noted, “Earlier this month, Global Action on Gun Violence quietly filed paperwork with the DOJ under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, with Lowy and Elizabeth Burke, who was also an attorney at Brady, registering as agents of Mexico.” Moreover, the article reported that former Brady Legal Action Project Director Dennis Henigan will serve on the group’s board.

As attorneys for Brady, Henigan and Lowy submitted an amicus brief in the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) U.S. Supreme Court case. In it, the pair urged the Court to uphold the federal enclave’s handgun ban, contending the Second Amendment did not protect an individual right to keep and bear arms. Having lost that battle, some anti-gun activists appear willing to employ any strategy to pursue gun control—even if that means working with a foreign power to erode their own countrymen’s constitutional rights.

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