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NYC Lawsuit Against America's Firearms Manufacturers Denied By U.S. Supreme Court

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fairfax, Va. – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied consideration of New York City and Washington, D.C. lawsuits, New York v. Beretta and Lawson v. Beretta, respectively, that tried to hold American gun manufacturers responsible for the acts of criminals. The Court 's order leaves standing a pair of decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and District of Columbia Court of Appeals, both of which found that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), enacted in 2005, prevents these types of lawsuits against lawful firearms manufacturers and dealers.

“Big city mayors conceived these lawsuits to try and litigate American gun manufacturers – who President Roosevelt referred to as “the arsenal of democracy” – out of business,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “NRA has always believed the courts would agree with Congress that the PLCAA rightfully stops these reckless and politically motivated lawsuits.”

 In 2000, New York City, Washington, D.C. and several individual plaintiffs sued gun manufacturers, based on the idea that although they manufactured a legal product, forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees just to prove their innocence in court would drive them into bankruptcy. In addition to being based on a bogus legal theory, these lawsuits endangered American armed forces and law enforcement. During congressional debate over the PLCAA, the Department of Defense agreed with the NRA that bankrupting U.S. gun makers and making us dependent on foreign countries like France, Russia or China for small arms is a threat to America’s domestic and international security.

“We are pleased that the courts have recognized the misguided intent of these lawsuits,” concluded Cox. “ America’s law-abiding firearms manufacturers must be protected from reckless suits that have no legal merit.”

-NRA-

Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

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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.