Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Boston Abandons Reckless Lawsuit

Friday, March 29, 2002

Boston became the first city to voluntarily abandon its baseless, reckless lawsuit against the firearm industry on Wednesday. The Dow Jones International News reported on Thursday that Mayor Thomas Menino (D) claimed the cost of going to trial was too high, and the growing list of court rulings rejecting similar cases limited the "evidence" the city would be able to present. As expected, though, reckless lawsuit proponents, including Mayor Menino, have tried to spin the failure of Boston’s nearly three-year harassment campaign against law-abiding gun makers as some sort of victory.

Menino claimed that the Boston suit forced gun makers "to take small steps to address our concerns." But Lawrence G. Keane, vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. (NSSF)—a defendant in the case— stated, "No concessions were made in exchange for the city’s actions. We are extremely pleased with the suit’s dismissal, but it is unfortunate and inappropriate that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino mischaracterizes industry safety efforts as being prompted by the city’s suit. The truth is that industry has been actively promoting nationwide safety efforts for decades, a fact previously acknowledged by the mayor."

According to the Dow Jones International News, Menino even tried to claim that the decision by gun makers to include a free locking device with the sale of each new firearm aided the plaintiffs in their decision, even though most gun makers had already decided to do this in 1997, nearly two years before Boston filed its suit, if not before.

NRA-ILA Executive Director James Jay Baker said of the decision to drop the suit, "It’s a lesson that other cities ought to take. Criminals are responsible for their own actions, not manufacturers of legal products." Baker also commented, "I don’t think they ever should have brought it, and the fact they agreed to have it dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can’t bring it up again, is a pretty clear indication that they had no case to start with."

Unfortunately, other cities don’t seem to be learning anything from the repeated failures of the reckless lawsuit campaign. As Boston decided, on Wednesday, it could no longer afford to waste taxpayer money on a suit it simply could not win, on Thursday, Jersey City filed its own suit.

Another court case in Massachusetts had a more troubling outcome. On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit dismissed a challenge to "Massachusetts’ Gun Control Act of 1998" as "unripe." The case centered around a provision of the ‘98 Act that requires anyone who possesses or wishes to possess a "large capacity weapon" or a "large capacity feeding device" to obtain a Class A license. The court held that the plaintiffs had not suffered hardship because they could apply for a license to possess the regulated items, so the case was not ripe for review. The decision leaves open and unresolved serious questions regarding how Massachusetts defines "large capacity weapons" and "large capacity feeding devices." This means that any otherwise law-abiding citizen, who is unable to determine if his firearm or feeding device is subject to the licensing requirement, could face criminal prosecution if he fails to acquire the license. The penalty for an honest mistake in this case is imprisonment for not less than 2 ½ years nor more than 10 years. The bottom line is, given the court’s unwillingness to decide in this civil case whether the terms at issue are unconstitutionally vague, such determinations will be made through criminal prosecutions.

The court also ludicrously upheld a ban on licensed gun clubs shooting at human-shaped silhouette targets, claiming that this prohibition aided the state in "preventing gun fatalities."

TRENDING NOW

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Surrender Requirement

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Surrender Requirement

Last summer, we reported on the welcome news that a federal court had blocked California’s plan to require owners of “large capacity” magazines to surrender or otherwise rid themselves of their formerly-lawful property. As the judge in ...

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 13, 2018

Justice Scalia Made Clear the Second Amendment and Heller Prohibit “Assault Weapon” Bans

On July 9, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered the following ham-handed statement in an attempted attack on President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a true Second Amendment radical. ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

Anti-gun Propaganda Infiltrates History Channel’s Navy SEAL Drama “Six”

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Anti-gun Propaganda Infiltrates History Channel’s Navy SEAL Drama “Six”

With shows like “Tales of the Gun” and “Mail Call” with R. Lee Ermey, the History Channel has often served as a place where gun owners can enjoy entertainment free from the anti-gun political messaging ...

Washington: NRA and SAF File Lawsuit Against City of Seattle

Friday, July 20, 2018

Washington: NRA and SAF File Lawsuit Against City of Seattle

On Friday, July 20th, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and others, to invalidate the mandatory firearm storage ordinance that was recently passed by ...

Moms Demand Action Reportedly Told Candidate Not to Talk about Support for Gun Ban

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Moms Demand Action Reportedly Told Candidate Not to Talk about Support for Gun Ban

Another chapter in the lengthy tale of gun control duplicity was written last week. On July 10, The Washington Free Beacon published a report of a video of Democratic nominee for New York’s rural upstate 21st congressional district Tedra ...

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

Thursday, July 19, 2018

California: Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.