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New York City Lawsuit Against America’s Firearm Industry Blocked

Friday, May 2, 2008

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has delivered a major blow to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s lawsuit aimed at bankrupting the firearms industry, by ruling on April 30 that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) of 2005 blocks the city’s lawsuit against a host of gun makers and distributors. 

“The blocking of this bogus lawsuit against America’s firearm industry is an important victory,” declared NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.  “New York City’s lawsuit was a politically motivated attack by an anti-gun mayor to bankrupt a lawful industry.” 

The Second Circuit, like other courts around the country, found that the law is constitutional and that District Judge Jack B. Weinstein had wrongly interpreted its exceptions. Weinstein, one of the most frequently overruled federal judges in the country, had said that the suit, under a “public nuisance” law, was still allowed under the PLCAA. 

After reviewing the history of the PLCAA, Judge Robert J. Miner wrote, “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.” 

This decision is just the latest setback for Mayor Bloomberg, who has also been publicly rebuked by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for his unlawful “sting” operations against firearm retailers in several states.

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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.