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Scholarship Highlight:  Hillel Levin and Timothy Lytton on PLCAA and Bruen

  • Date:
  • August 5th, 2022

By: Andrew Willinger

In a recent article, Hillel Levin and Timothy Lytton consider the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”) and its statutory exceptions to gun industry immunity in the wake of Bruen

Levin and Lytton ask the interesting question of whether the lack of analogous historical use of civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers means that suits under PLCAA’s “predicate exception” are unconstitutional under Bruen—even if the state laws that authorize those suits are themselves constitutional.  For example, New York recently passed a law authorizing public nuisance suits under the predicate exception, which allows gun manufacturers to be sued for "knowingly violat[ing] a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the[ir] product."  PLCAA and its statutory exceptions were a major topic of discussion at our Privatizing the Gun Debate conference this past spring, and Heidi Li Feldman wrote a highly informative blog post after the conference about PLCAA and state nuisance laws that utilize its exceptions.

You can read Levin and Lytton’s piece, Firearms Regulation through Constitutional Litigation, here.