Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen Leads State Petition to End Mexico Lawfare Against U.S. Gun Makers

Gun Rights

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is leading a state-level coalition to end Mexico’s lawfare against U.S. gun manufacturers.

On August 4, 2021, Breitbart News reported that Mexico had filed a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson and other U.S. gun manufacturers, as well as a U.S. wholesaler. A report from the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) indicated that the U.S.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence “teamed up” with Mexico’s government in formulating the lawsuit filed against gun makers.

A district court judge decided against Mexico in September 2022, noting that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) shields U.S. gun manufacturers from such suits. However, Mexico appealed the ruling, and CNN noted that a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled “that Mexico’s complaint plausibly alleges a type of claim that is statutorily exempt from the PLCAA’s general prohibition.”

In short, the First Circuit’s decision allowed Mexico’s suit to proceed.

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A May 22, 2024, press release from Knudsen’s office, which Breitbart News has in its possession, explains that Knudsen and 26 other state attorneys general are now involved and petitioning to have the Supreme Court of the United States overturn the First Circuit’s ruling.

“American firearms manufacturers should not and do not have to answer for the actions of criminals, as established by the commonsense federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Mexico’s bad policies created the country’s gun violence problem,” Knudsen said. “Rather than take responsibility, Mexico and anti-gun activists are trying to blame and bankrupt American companies that follow the law. The appeals court erred in their decision, and the Supreme Court needs to correct it.”

“…Mexico has flung its border open and sought to extort billions of dollars from the United States to even attempt to manage the resulting chaos,” the petition notes. “Mexico should not be permitted to exert de facto control over the rights of American citizens to alleviate the consequences of its own policy choices.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio, a pro-staffer for Pulsar Night Vision, and the director of global marketing for Lone Star Hunts. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010 and has a Ph.D. in Military History. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at

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