TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Thursday, October 1, 2020

PA: Appeals Court Holds PLCAA Unconstitutional

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was unconstitutional.  In March 2016, J.R. Gustafson was killed when his 14-year-old friend accidentally shot him with a semi-automatic handgun that he thought was unloaded.  Gustafson's parents sued both the manufacturer of the weapon and the store that sold it.  Both defended themselves by invoking the PLCAA, a federal law passed in 2005 that provides businesses cannot "be liable for the harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse firearm products or ammunition products that function as designed and intended."  The trial court dismissed the case in January, but the appellate court held that PLCAA violates the Tenth Amendment and principles of federalism.  This is the first court to hold the law is unconstitutional in its entirety.  CNN has the story.  The opinion, thanks to Tim Lytton, is here:  Download Gustafson-opinion (002)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2020/10/pa-appeals-court-holds-plcaa-unconstitutional-.html

Current Affairs, Products Liability | Permalink

Comments

Post a comment