The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to ending the scourge of gun violence in our communities. Towards that end, we are committed to supporting efforts to stop the flow of illegal firearms onto our streets, and to prevent gun violence from occurring. Learn more about our efforts by reading our briefs and statements below.
March 21, 2023: Amicus Brief Urging Reversal of Decision Extending Immunity to Gun Distributors
On March 21, 2023, Prosecuting Attorney Eli Savit joined 22 other elected prosecutors from across the country on an amicus brief urging the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to reverse a district court’s decision which extended immunity to gun manufacturers and distributors. In the case, Estados Unidos Mexicanos v. Smith & Wesson, the Mexican government filed a suit against gun manufacturers and distributors, alleging that they are knowingly supplying guns to drug cartels.
An American law—the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act—broadly grants immunity to gun manufacturers and distributors within the United States. The district court held that law also applies to lawsuits brought by a foreign government, because failing to apply that law in a foreign context “would result in adverse effects within the United States.”
The brief urges reversal of that decision. The brief contends that the district court failed to take stock of the adverse effects in the United States caused by the gun distributors’ conduct. Most prominently, the brief highlights, significant violence in the United States is directly traceable to heavily armed cartels—cartels that are armed with American-made and American-sold weapons.
January 31, 2022: Amicus Brief Urging U.S. Courts to Hear Major Case Against Gun Distributors
On January 31, 2022, Prosecuting Attorney Eli Savit joined 26 other elected prosecutors from around the country on an amicus brief urging a federal court to consider a major case against gun manufacturers and distributors. The case, Estados Unidos Mexicanos v. Smith & Wesson, alleges that gun manufacturers have been knowingly (and unlawfully) selling millions of weapons to Mexican drug cartels. The amicus brief highlights the damage that stems from the cross-border gun and drug trade. It also emphasizes the significant violence in the United States is directly traceable to heavily armed cartels—cartels that are armed with American-made and American-sold weapons.