The city government of Buffalo, New York, filed a lawsuit last week in state court against dozens of law-abiding American firearms manufacturers. In what the city calls a “first of its kind” case, Buffalo claims that the companies protected by the Second Amendment have “created, contributed to, and maintained the public nuisance of unlawful possession, transportation and disposition of firearms and the utilization of guns.”
The lawyers who filed the case appear to have intended to sue every significant gun manufacturer that operates legally in the U.S., including Ruger & Co., Inc., Glock, Inc., Sig Sauer, Inc., Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Inc., and Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., among others. The case also names Polymer80 as a defendant. That company sells gun kits, derisively described by liberals and corporate media as “ghost guns.”
Since we are talking about frivolous lawsuits, Byron Brown should be sued for the rising crime rate in Buffalo, New York, which on his watch is 74.70% higher than the national rate, and 130.97% higher than the New York total crime rate. @MayorByronBrown https://t.co/Qhpzmpu2P1
— Matthew Kolken (@mkolken) December 21, 2022
The City of Buffalo appears to have a theory in the case that the manufacturers are collaborating in “supplying more firearms than the legitimate market can bear.” The lawsuit argues that the actions of the gun companies have “created, maintained, or contributed to a condition in the City of Buffalo that endangers the safety and health of the public.”
As the case was filed, Mayor Byron Brown released a statement that said: “We must do everything we can to decrease gun violence. Enabling the possession of illegal guns destroys lives and deeply affects our neighborhood, especially in Black and Brown communities.”
As is true in most U.S. cities, violent crime has been rising in Buffalo since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In May this year, an 18-year-old gunman killed ten and injured three at a Buffalo supermarket mass shooting.
The lawsuit claims that even though the defendant gun companies “are aware that criminals are an important segment of the gun industry market,” they do not act to keep criminals from obtaining weapons.
The legal cause of action the city relies on is called “public nuisance.” It claims that by selling and advertising their products protected by the Constitution, the gun companies are creating such a “public nuisance” that the court should prevent them from continuing to do business.
“Public nuisance” cases recognized under the law historically have involved companies that cause direct harm by actions like poisoning water supplies or introducing toxic materials into the stream of commerce.
The lawsuit also alleges various consumer protection and business regulations violations, claiming the gun manufacturers are guilty of “deceptive or dangerous business practices.”
Like many other Democrat-controlled cities, Buffalo is attempting to blame legally produced and distributed products for their crime problems instead of their soft-on-criminals approach to law enforcement. Unfortunately, in addition to doing nothing to address the actual cause of its crime problems, the City of Buffalo is also working to deprive residents of the Constitutionally-protected right to self-defense.
The defendant gun manufacturers have not yet responded to the lawsuit, and no hearings have yet been scheduled.