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SAF Applauds D.C. Court Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Gun Industry Thu Jan 10, 5:59 PM ET


Contact: Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation, +1-425-454-7012

BELLEVUE, Wash., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Second Amendment Foundation today applauded the unanimous ruling by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals that dismissed a lawsuit against 25 gun manufacturers filed by the district and families of nine gun crime victims in the city.

The lawsuit was filed in January 2000, but according to the opinion written by Associate Judge Michael William Farrell, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 required the court to dismiss the case.

SAF founder Alan Gottlieb said the ruling was proper, and recalled that it was municipal lawsuits like this which led to passage of the federal legislation in the first place. At one time, several cities filed a string of junk lawsuits against gun makers, and SAF actually filed counter suits against big city mayors who launched the legal attack. SAF was not a participant in this litigation.

Were proud of the tenacity shown by American firearms makers, and their refusal to be bullied by this kind of legal harassment, Gottlieb stated. Such lawsuits threaten the gun rights of all law-abiding citizens by posing a threat to the very life of the nations firearms industry. It is no secret that such lawsuits have been launched not simply to blame gun companies for out-of-control crime, but to put them out of business through a financial and legal war of attrition."

Historically, he continued, such lawsuits have not been successful, but defending against them has cost the industry considerable time, money and effort, all of which could have been far better spent on research and development of firearm safety education programs, or new, innovative gun safety devices and mechanisms resulting in genuine advances rather than symbolic feel-good headlines and paychecks for litigious attorneys."

We agree with the analysis from our friends at the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which likened this lawsuit to holding car makers responsible for accidents caused by drunk drivers, Gottlieb said. The courts, and the American public, realize that manufacturers, no matter who they are, cannot be blamed for the actions of individuals who misuse their products, whether they are golf clubs, baseball bats, automobiles or firearms.

The Second Amendment Foundation (http://www.saf.org) is the nations oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 600,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

SOURCE Second Amendment Foundation
http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20080110/p ... n_industry
Another story (but no link) found on another site:

District of Columbia Appellate Court Upholds
Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Gun Makers
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Earlier today, a unanimous (3-0) District of Columbia Court of Appeals upheld the May 2006 decision of District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Brook Hedges dismissing a lawsuit, filed in January 2000, by the District of Columbia and the families of nine victims of criminal shootings that occurred in the district. Writing for the district's high court, Associate Judge Michael William Farrell ruled that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), signed into law by President Bush in October 2005, required dismissal of the plaintiffs' lawsuit against 25 firearm manufacturers. The district and the plaintiffs had sued the manufacturers under the district's so-called Assault Weapons Manufacturing Strict Liability Act which imposes automatic and absolute liability on manufacturers for injuries resulting from criminal shootings in the district, even if, as Judge Farrell observed, the criminal shootings happened "years after the manufacture or sale and despite the utmost care taken in the manufacture or sale" of the firearm.

In upholding the dismissal Judge Farrell noted that Congress' purpose in passing the PLCAA was to "prohibit [lawsuits] against manufacturers … for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearms products ..." The court wrote that allowing the district's lawsuit to proceed "would, in our view, frustrate Congress' clear intention."

"Today's ruling is very gratifying to members of the firearms industry," said Lawrence G. Keane, chief spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm industry's trade association. "The District of Columbia lawsuit was like blaming car makers for drunk-driving accidents."

In passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, Congress understood that junk lawsuits like the district's defied common sense and were an abuse of the judicial system that threatened to bankrupt a responsible and law-abiding industry. The ruling is another major setback for gun-control groups, principally the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which pursued and funded many of the municipal lawsuits against the firearms industry.

The appellate court also rejected the district's claim that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was unconstitutional. In rejecting the district's arguments, the court wrote, "Congress was especially concerned with lawsuits that have been commenced seeking money damages and other relief against manufacturers and sellers of firearms for harms caused by the misuse of their products by others, including criminals, and with the threat to interstate commerce of thus imposing liability on an entire industry for the harm solely caused by others."

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That's cool. With a little luck DC will appeal to the supreme court and they will uphold the appellate decision. As it stands now the appellate decision sets a binding precedent, but only in the 4th circuit. It's a decision that federal courts in other circuits will reference and consider, but it's not binding on them.

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AWWW, You mean now I can't sue Spalding because a neighbor kid threw a baseball through my window. :roll: :roll:
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