Way back in Y2K the city of New York pressed a lawsuit against gun manufacturers for crimes committed using their products. It was bogus lawsuits like this that led to the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, a component of which specifically directed any pending lawsuits of this nature to be dropped. Faced with that explicit language, Brooklyn federal district Judge Weinstein ruled that the Act did not require the dismissal of the suit and allowed the suit to continue. The manufacturers appealed the ruling to the Second Circuit. That appeal has been ruled upon and, once again, Judge Weinstein is overturned:
The crux of the suit, which dates back to 2000: The city of New York sued the gun industry — including Beretta, Browning, Colt, Glock Inc. and a bunch of others — for facilitating “the movement of legally distributed handguns into illegal markets” by, among other things, facilitating “straw purchases” in which those qualified to purchase guns from the manufacturer, such as retailers, make purchases on behalf of those who aren’t qualified.
Back in 2005, Weinstein denied the manufacturers’ 12(b)(6) motion, holding that the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, did not require dismissal of the city’s case, which was brought under a New York criminal nuisance statute. In a 2-1 decision, a Second Circuit panel reversed, finding that the claim restrictions of the PLCAA did apply and barred the suit.
I’m glad to see there are more logical (and literate, apparently) judges in the Second Circuit although one wonders about the 1 panel member who voted against overturning the decision. The ruling, if you’d like to see it, is here. Hopefully, this will serve as precedent to remove any other such suits in progress and keep any other judges more interested in enacting their social policy than in application of the duly-enacted law from making the mistake Weinstein did.
(Hat tip: Instapundit.)