Firearms Litigation: Liability, Regulation, and the Constitution

On Tuesday, December 1, there is free four-hour continuing legal education program on "Firearms Litigation: Liability, Regulation, and the Constitution." The program is co-sponsored by the Center on Civil Justice at NYU School of Law, the Duke Center for Firearms Law, and the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School. It will run from 1 to 5 p.m., Eastern Time. Free registration is available here . The event will be transmitted via Zoom. Panel 1 is "Liability Litigation: Products, Preemption, and the PLCAA." The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a 2005 federal statute that bans many tort lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and retailers. The PLCAA does not restrict lawsuits about firearms that are actually defective–for example, a handgun that fires when it is accidentally dropped. As my 2016 post describes, the federal statute, like 34 prior state statutes, resulted from numerous lawsuits organized by gun control groups and certain government officials (including Andrew Cuomo). The coordinated suits aimed to present the firearms business with a stark choice: 1. Cede control of the industry to a supervisory committee run by anti-gun advocates; 2. Be bankrupted by litigation costs from many simultaneous cases in different courts. The PLCAA regulations on lawsuits include what is called the "predicate exception." A business can be sued if it "knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm." Panel 1 […]

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