Global Action on Gun Violence calls out human rights problems with U.S. gun industry and gun policy

Brief filed in the Inter-American Court for Human Rights

August 21, 2023

(WASHINGTON) Global Action on Gun Violence (GAGV) and the GW Law School’s Civil and Human Rights Law Clinic today submitted a brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights of the Organization of American States, in support of the Government of Mexico’s request for an advisory opinion on firearms issues.  

The submission explains how: 

  • U.S. gun industry practices contribute to gun violence in the United States, as well as Mexico, the nations of the Caribbean, and throughout the region;
  • the U.S. fails to reasonably regulate guns, unlike other countries in the region and the world;
  • special gun industry protections laws in the U.S., such as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”), deny victims of gun industry abuse full access to the courts and their rights to a remedy; and
  • U.S. gun policies violate international human rights law, including the right to life and personal security.

In November 2022, the Government of Mexico requested an advisory opinion from the Inter-American Court on the responsibility under human rights law of gun companies for violence they facilitate; and the responsibility under human rights law for countries to provide access to justice and the right to a remedy for victims of abusive gun industry practices. The Court is expected to issue an opinion on both questions.

Global Action on Gun Violence was founded August 31, 2022 as a non-profit organization dedicated to ending gun violence in the U.S. and throughout the world, using litigation, human rights actions, advocacy and messaging. GAGV’s work includes representing the Government of Mexico in anti-gun trafficking litigation, acting as foreign legal counsel in a Canadian gun lawsuit, and calling on the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and other international bodies to address cross-border gun trafficking more rigorously. GAGV’s President, Jon Lowy, has litigated Second Amendment and other gun cases for over 25 years.