BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today applauded the unanimous ruling by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that dismissed a lawsuit against 25 gun manufacturers filed by the district and families of nine gun crime victims in the city.
The lawsuit was filed in January 2000, but according to the opinion written by Associate Judge Michael William Farrell, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 required the court to dismiss the case.
SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the ruling was proper, and recalled that it was municipal lawsuits like this which led to passage of the federal legislation in the first place. At one time, several cities filed a string of junk lawsuits against gun makers, and SAF actually filed counter suits against big city mayors who launched the legal attack. SAF was not a participant in this litigation.
“We’re proud of the tenacity shown by American firearms makers, and their refusal to be bullied by this kind of legal harassment,” Gottlieb stated. “Such lawsuits threaten the gun rights of all law-abiding citizens by posing a threat to the very life of the nation’s firearms industry. It is no secret that such lawsuits have been launched not simply to blame gun companies for out-of-control crime, but to put them out of business through a financial and legal war of attrition.
“Historically,” he continued, “such lawsuits have not been successful, but defending against them has cost the industry considerable time, money and effort, all of which could have been far better spent on research and development of firearm safety education programs, or new, innovative gun safety devices and mechanisms resulting in genuine advances rather than symbolic ‘feel-good’ headlines and paychecks for litigious attorneys.
“We agree with the analysis from our friends at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which likened this lawsuit to holding car makers responsible for accidents caused by drunk drivers,” Gottlieb said. “The courts, and the American public, realize that manufacturers, no matter who they are, cannot be blamed for the actions of individuals who misuse their products, whether they are golf clubs, baseball bats, automobiles or firearms.”