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Pvt. Cowboy
04-30-2008, 3:11 PM
Appeals court dismisses NY suit vs. gun industry

http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN3051467020080430?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=10112

By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. federal appeals court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by New York City against gun makers the city targeted in a bid to stop the flow of illegal weapons.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the city's claims against the manufacturers and wholesale sellers of firearms, ruling a federal law granted them immunity. The decision overturns a lower court ruling.

The city claimed firearms makers and suppliers marketed guns to legitimate buyers knowing those guns would end up in illegal markets. It argued manufacturers should be required to ensure guns did not end up in illegal hands, including monitoring the activities of the dealers they sold to.

But in a 2-1 decision, the panel of three judges ruled that the gun suppliers did deserve immunity under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a federal law passed in 2005 to prevent firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable for crimes committed with their products.

"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," the appeals court said.

The gun manufacturers had appealed a decision by federal Judge Jack Weinstein, who agreed with the city that the state's public nuisance law qualified as an exception under the federal law even though he agreed with gun manufacturers that the law was constitutional.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2000 under former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, sought no monetary damages but claimed suppliers marketed guns in deliberate ways.

Such ways included promoting firearms at gun shows, where nonlicensed people can sell guns, as well as knowing about "straw purchases" where people qualified to make gun purchases do so on behalf of others that are not, the lawsuit claimed.

SETTLED LAWSUITS

The lawsuit was amended in 2004 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who filed similar civil lawsuits against gun dealers in 2006. Many of those lawsuits have been settled.

"I am disappointed in the Court's decision," Bloomberg said in a statement, adding the decision "will not impact" the ongoing remaining cases against gun dealers.

"Regardless of this ruling, we will continue our fight against illegal guns full bore -- in the courtrooms, on the streets, and in the Congress," he said.

Larry Keane, spokesperson for National Shooting Sports Foundation, said in a statement that Congress intended the law to combat such lawsuits, which "represented a clear abuse of the judicial system that threatened to bankrupt a responsible and law-abiding industry."

The gun manufacturers include Beretta U.S.A. Corp., Colt Manufacturing, Smith & Wesson Corp., Taurus International Manufacturing, Sigarms Inc., Glock Inc., and Sturm Ruger and Co.

yellowfin
04-30-2008, 3:27 PM
I hope they're making him personally foot the bill for all of this. He needs to have some kind of penalty for harassing businesses and costing taxpayers all this money in addition to attacking the rights of others. Are they at least countersuing then hitting him for punitive damages?

Pvt. Cowboy
04-30-2008, 3:37 PM
Well, there ought to be restitution for failed lawsuits, especially when the plaintiff is backed up by the enormous bankroll of taxpayer dollars. I have no idea what recourse there is.

However, the Attorney General from Virginia did send a letter to Mayor Bloomberg and said if he saw any of those fancy-shoe lawyers from New York City coming down to try to conduct strawman purchases of firearms in his state, he was throwing their Yankee asses in the pokey.

FreedomIsNotFree
04-30-2008, 4:45 PM
I'm not exactly sure what the standards are but, I believe the losers of such lawsuits can be held to pay for their oppositions court costs/attorney fees.

mymonkeyman
04-30-2008, 4:47 PM
In the US, as opposed to the UK, both sides pay for their own attorney fees except in rare cases. The loser pays for court costs (which are minor compared to the attorney fees).

hoffmang
04-30-2008, 6:23 PM
Here is the opinion (http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov:8080/isysnative/RDpcT3BpbnNcT1BOXDA1LTY5NDItY3Zfb3BuLnBkZg==/05-6942-cv_opn.pdf).

-Gene

Glock22Fan
04-30-2008, 6:27 PM
In the UK, the successful party can ask for costs to be awarded against the unsuccessful party. When the judge (or jury) believe that the case was brought for malicious or frivolous reasons, they may also award damages as a punishment.

Of course, the unsuccessful party may not have the money.

Personally, I think that this is one area where the UK shines over the US.

bwiese
04-30-2008, 6:46 PM
For all the Paulestinians out there, note that Ron Paul did not want this to happen - he voted against the law (PLCAA) that made this possible.

FreedomIsNotFree
04-30-2008, 9:22 PM
For all the Paulestinians out there, note that Ron Paul did not want this to happen - he voted against the law (PLCAA) that made this possible.

Well, in fairness to RP, we should add he comments on this issue. Although he disagreed with this Federal legislation, it was in line with his anti-federalism stances on just about every issue. At least his is consistent with his beliefs.

Here is what RP said...

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would remind my fellow supporters of gun rights that using unconstitutional federal powers to restrict state gun lawsuits makes it more likely those same powers will be used to restrict our gun rights. Despite these lawsuits, the number one threat to gun ownership remains a federal government freed of its constitutional restraints. Expanding that government in any way, no matter how just the cause may seem, is not in the interests of gun owners or lovers of liberty.

In conclusion, while I share the concern over the lawsuits against gun manufacturers, which inspired HR 1036, this bill continues the disturbing trend toward federalization of tort law. Enhancing the power of the federal government is not in the long-term interests of defenders of the Second amendment and other constitutional liberties. Therefore, I must oppose this bill.

hoffmang
04-30-2008, 9:27 PM
Allowing states to discriminate against certain staple articles of commerce conflicts with the point of the Commerce Clause how?

RP is just flat wrong on that one.

-Gene

FreedomIsNotFree
04-30-2008, 10:05 PM
Allowing states to discriminate against certain staple articles of commerce conflicts with the point of the Commerce Clause how?

RP is just flat wrong on that one.

-Gene

I believe RP disagrees with the Commerce Clause itself...making the conflict you note, irrelevant from his perspective.

hoffmang
04-30-2008, 10:17 PM
RP is yet another person who doesn't like the text of the Constitution? All these champions of Sarah Brady...

-Gene

FreedomIsNotFree
04-30-2008, 11:24 PM
RP is yet another person who doesn't like the text of the Constitution? All these champions of Sarah Brady...

-Gene

Was that a question? If any recent politician has been the defender of the actual text of the Constitution, it has been RP.