Follow-Up: Effects of Dismissed NYC Lawsuit
Last week Gun Reports reported that a Manhattan-based federal appeals court ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against firearms manufacturers by the City of New York that sought to hold the manufacturers responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms.
The ruling is a major setback for gun-control groups, principally the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which pursued and funded many of the municipal lawsuits, including this New York City case, against the firearms industry.
Also, it becomes the most important test case of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
Judge Robert J. Miner, writing for the U.S. Court of Appeals, held the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, enacted in 2005, is constitutional and that Brooklyn, NY, federal court judge Jack B. Weinstein misinterpreted the law by not dismissing the case.
We think Congress clearly intended to protect from vicarious liability members of the firearms industry who engage in the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, importation, or sale of firearms, said Judge Miner.
Following the ruling by the court, Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said, In passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, Congress understood that frivolous lawsuits like New York Citys defied common sense and represented a clear abuse of the judicial system that threatened to bankrupt a responsible and law-abiding industry.
The citys lawsuit against the nations firearms manufacturers was originally filed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in June 2000 and was continued by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Mayor Bloomberg is also suing out-of-state firearms retailers. That case will go to trial later this month before Judge Weinstein.