Friday, May 02, 2008

U.S. Court Rejects New York Gun Lawsuit

A federal appeals court dismissed New York City's blanket lawsuit against the gun industry on Wednesday, ruling that a relatively new federal law protects gunmakers against third-party litigation. The appellate ruling killed off - once and for all, perhaps - legal efforts by the city to charge gunmakers and distributors with knowingly flooding illicit, underground markets with their weapons. The suit, initially filed in 2000, was debated so much nationally that former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani was even criticized during his presidential campaign for having initially supported it.

In December 2005, Judge Jack B. Weinstein, of United States District Court in Brooklyn, allowed the suit to move forward despite protests by gunmakers like Beretta U.S.A., Browning Arms, Colt Manufacturing, Glock and Smith & Wesson, which pointed to a federal law passed two months earlier in October. That law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, banned all third-party suits against the gun industry except for those in which a plaintiff could prove that gunmakers had violated other state or federal statutes in their sales and marketing practices.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's administration argued that the gun manufacturers, by failing to monitor retail dealers closely enough, allowed guns to end up in the hands of criminals. As a result, the manufacturers created a "condition that negatively affects the public health or safety," the city said and, thus, violated New York State's public nuisance law. But the Second Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that argument, ruling that the state nuisance law did not constitute a permissible exception under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.


CA: Clerk fatally shoots would-be armed robber: "Los Angeles police say a mini market clerk has shot and killed an armed man who was trying to rob the business. Officers responding to a shooting call Saturday afternoon in the San Fernando Valley found 30-year-old Marvin Sanchez lying on a sidewalk shot to death. Investigators say Sanchez walked into the Del Gaudio mini market, pulled a handgun and demanded money. The male clerk grabbed a handgun and shot Sanchez."

Chicago police to get assault rifles: "Mayor Richard Daley said Saturday Chicago police officers will he armed with high-powered assault rifles when they're on the streets fighting gangs and other criminals. "Many times they're outgunned, to be very frank," Daley said at an event in the Englewood neighborhood. "When they come to a scene, someone has a semi fully-automatic weapon and you have a little pistol, uh, good luck." The city's police officers carry pistols, and Daley suggested they will start carrying "M4 rifles." Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the department still is working out details about the M4 carbines. .... "We're finding out that the weapons of criminals are getting bigger and bigger, AK47s, all types of different weapons, because they can carry assault weapons, it's not a violation of federal law, and that is a concern for all of us," he said"

SAF hails California high court victory over SF handgun ban: "The California Supreme Court made the right decision in rejecting an appeal by the City of San Francisco that sought to uphold its handgun ban, the Second Amendment Foundation said. SAF was joined in a lawsuit against the handgun ban by the National Rifle Association, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, California Association of Firearms Retailers and San Francisco residents."

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