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Court Upholds D.C. Lawsuit Dismissal

Friday, May 7, 2004

Last week, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals last week unanimously upheld a trial court`s ruling dismissing the District`s "negligence" and "public nuisance" claims against the firearms industry. The appellate court`s decision specifically found that none of the plaintiffs stated a valid claim of negligence and that the District had not stated a claim of public nuisance on the facts alleged.

However, while the court said that the District could not sue under its unique "absolute liability" statute, it did allow that individual plaintiffs could. In doing so, the court has thrown out the traditional role of "liability." With the introduction of "absolute liability," a defendant is essentially stripped of almost any defense. While the Court took a positive step in affirming that firearm manufacturers are not responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms due to (in this case) "negligence" and "public nuisance," the case represents yet another blatant example of the need to pass a comprehensive federal lawsuit protection bill. Allowing these types of lawsuits to continue unabated will be disastrous for the American firearm industry, and for your right to lawfully own firearms. We owe it to ourselves, and all gun owners across the country, to continue this fight until we pass a lawsuit bill as soon as possible. When we succeed in ultimately enacting a lawsuit bill into law, it will represent a monumental step forward for our rights. Rest assured we will keep you informed of our efforts.

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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.