Pennsylvania court strikes down law protecting gun manufacturers from lawsuits

Second Amendment


A state appeals court in Pennsylvania declared the federal law that protects gun manufacturers from certain lawsuits unconstitutional on Monday in a victory for gun-control proponents that would allow the family of a 13-year-old boy who died in a 2016 shooting accident to move forward with a lawsuit against Springfield Arms and Saloom Department Store.

The boy, J.R. Gustafson, and his 14-year-old friend in a private home in 2016 obtained a gun that was in the home, which was manufactured by Springfield and sold by the department store. The friend removed the clip from the gun and believed it to be unloaded. But there was still a live round in the chamber when he pulled the trigger, unintentionally killing Gustafson.

The family of Gustafson then sued the department store and Springfield but were initially stymied by a lower court that ruled they could not sue under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The family argued that the act did not apply, and if it did apply it was unconstitutional.

The appeals court on Monday ruled the PLCAA is unconstitutional because the law overturns “common law dating back centuries” and does not adequately fit under the Constitution’s commerce clause, saying “that merely because, at some point in time, that gun passed through interstate commerce, does not give Congress perpetual authority to regulate any harm it may cause.”

EX-NRA OFFICIAL SAYS GUN OWNERS ‘DON’T NEED THE NRA’ TO TURN OUT AT POLLS, ACCUSE GROUP OF ‘CORRUPTION’

The court added: “The only portions of the PLCAA that do not offend the Constitution are its findings and purposes (in Section 7901) and a few definitions (in Section 7903). These provisions have no force on their own. Accordingly, Congress would not have enacted the constitutional provisions of the PLCAA standing alone. The rest of the PLCAA is not severable; the act is unconstitutional in its entirety.”

The decision is almost certain to be appealed and will not apply nationwide as the decision was handed down by a Pennsylvania state court.

The lawsuit was backed by the pro-gun control group Brady United and follows a pattern of such groups trying to sue gunmakers in state courts rather than federal courts. Victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting advanced a lawsuit last year against gun manufacturer Remington in Connecticut state courts. The Connecticut Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit against Remington to proceed under an exemption from the law for marketing practices.

“This access-to-justice victory for gun violence victims shows why it matters who sits on our nation’s courts,” Brady President Kris Brown said. “As this court recognized, the Constitution protects all of us, including innocent victims of both an out-of-control gun industry and a Congress with too many members all-too-willing to value gun industry profits over American lives.”

NRA RAISED MORE IN AUGUST THAN ANY MONTH OF 2016, AS BIDEN-TRUMP SHOWDOWN NEARS

Conservatives and libertarians have lauded the PLCAA as a way to prevent frivolous litigation. Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, was highly critical of the ruling in a statement to Fox News on Tuesday. He called the lawsuit an attempt “to undercut the Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantee and to attempt through the back door an eventual settlement aimed at affixing nationwide regulation to a national industry.”

“Both federal and state courts have repeatedly upheld PLCAA against constitutional challenge. Advocates of gun control through litigation are unlikely to fare any better with this one,” Olson said. “It is a matter of fact that most lawsuits targeting gunmakers are inherently filed against out-of-state defendants. It is also a matter of record that the organized campaign to obtain gun control through gun-liability lawsuits, to which PLCAA was a reaction, was coordinated across state lines to achieve goals that included preventing many interstate sales and transactions and obtaining a nationwide regulatory settlement.”

Olson added: “By using the theory they did, gun control advocates have also set a booby trap for their own would-be progressive allies. Were the Supreme Court to extend its skepticism of congressional power in the way they seek, many parts of the regulatory state might fall, from labor to environmental regulation … The main practical question is not whether this ruling will sustain U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny – it won’t, under any likely court composition in the next few years – but whether it can be used in the meantime to inflict tactical damage on firearms defendants through litigation costs and discovery.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Brady lead counsel Jonathan Lowy, however, said that the case would hold gunmakers accountable for allegedly negligent manufacturing practices like they say were involved in the Gufstason case – they argue that there should have been a warning the gun could still fire a live round that was chambered despite the clip being removed.

“As the court held, there is no right to ‘negligently or defectively manufacture or sell firearms or ammunition,'” Lowy said. “Gun makers and sellers are no longer immune from the consequences of their unreasonable, irresponsible actions that lead to injury and death.”

The Pennsylvania appeals court sent the case back down to a trial court for further action consistent with its decision allowing the lawsuit to go forward. But the decision will likely be appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after the state appeals court declared a major federal law unconstitutional.



Source link

Articles You May Like

Outdoors in RI: Ice fishing, a gourmet game dinner, 1791 leads the way in 2A – Jeff Gross
Expanding on Gov. Mills’ proposal, Maine Democrats unveil package of gun safety bills
NRA, Wayne LaPierre liable in lawsuit over lavish spending
We need to stop scaring ourselves
Biden: ‘We Beat The NRA … We’re Going To Finish The Job’

27 Comments

  1. 59344 441305Most helpful human beings toasts should amuse and present give about the couple. Beginner audio systems previous to obnoxious throngs would be wise to remember often the valuable signal utilizing grow to be, which is to be an individuals home. finest man speech examples 341634

  2. สอนเล่นคอร์ด ภาค 2 เล่นกับเพลง ดาวน์โหลดคอร์ด #มือใหม่หัดเล่นกีต้าร์ #smsmusic #สอนเล่นเพลง #สอนเล่นกีต้าร์ #ฝึกเล่นกีต้าร์ #ฝึกเล่นกีต้าร์ง่ายๆ #คอร์ด

  3. 276765 440443There a few fascinating points in time in this post but I dont know if I see these center to heart. There may possibly be some validity but Ill take hold opinion until I explore it further. Excellent write-up , thanks and then we want a whole lot far more! Put into FeedBurner too 196541

  4. 887936 325846Hello! I could have sworn Ive been to this weblog before but soon after browsing by means of some of the post I realized its new to me. Anyways, Im surely happy I discovered it and Ill be book-marking and checking back regularly! 695058

  5. 845918 8078As I web site possessor I believe the content material matter here is rattling magnificent , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Greatest of luck. 875728

  6. 838955 132798Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything such as this before. So good to get somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy we appreciate you starting this up. this fabulous internet site are some items that is required on the internet, somebody with just a little originality. beneficial function for bringing a new challenge on the world wide web! 758962

  7. 304730 407055Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So nice to find any person with some authentic thoughts on this topic. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is something that is wanted on the internet, someone with a bit bit originality. beneficial job for bringing something new towards the web! 227729

  8. 169750 422968It is a shame you dont have a donate button! Id without a doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for now ill settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon! 217989

  9. 402289 703763Intending start up a enterprise around the web involves revealing marketing plus items not only to women locally, however somehow to several buyers who are web-based as a rule. e-learning 78113

  10. 804059 526414You produced some very first rate factors there. I seemed on the internet for the difficulty and located most people will go along with together with your site. 945324

  11. The Group Purchase SEO Tools has been a game changer in my digital strategy!
    The affordable access to premium tools has changed the way that I design and plan my.
    The cost-sharing model is fantastic making top-quality SEO
    tools accessible to everyone. Highly recommend for anyone interested in boosting their web appearance without the costly cost!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *