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May 12, 2008

Second Circuit Rejects NYC's Nuisance Suit Against Gun Industry

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has dismissed a public nuisance suit brought by New York City against gun manufacturers and wholesalers.  The court reversed the federal trial court's ruling that the case fit within an exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a federal law enacted in 2005 to shield gun manufacturers and sellers from civil liability for the gun-related criminal actions of others.  The PLCAA contains an exemption for lawsuits alleging that a gun manufacturer or seller knowingly violated a state or federal statute "applicable to the sale or marketing of" firearms.  The plaintiffs argued that New York's second-degree criminal nuisance law was "applicable" to the sale or marketing of firearms.  The court disagreed, concluding that the word "applicable," when read in context, meant only firearms-specific statutes actually regulating the firearms industry.  The state's generally-applicable criminal public nuisance statute was not such a statute and therefore did not fit the exception in the PLCAA.  See the report in Product Liability Daily.

JDP

May 12, 2008 | Permalink

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