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Litigation Highlight: New York Officials Alleged Ghost Gun Manufacturers Created a Public Nuisance – Now the Settlements Have Started

Posted by on November 23, 2022

On June 29, only six days after the Supreme Court struck down a New York law requiring gun owners to show a special need to carry concealed handguns in public, New York officials filed two civil lawsuits against manufacturers of so-called “ghost guns.” The first lawsuit was filed by the state attorney general, Letitia James, […]

Scholarship Highlight: Recent Articles on Bruen, PLCAA Immunity, and Founding-Era Animal Attacks

Posted by on August 17, 2022

Today we’re highlighting a few new pieces of Second Amendment scholarship.  The first, an article by Michael Smith, provides a comprehensive critical evaluation of Bruen and its historical-analogy test.  The second, a student note by Nathan Harp, gives an overview of state AG lawsuits under PLCAA’s predicate exception—helpful background for understanding recent suits brought under […]

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

Posted by on August 5, 2022

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 […]

A New Call to Arms: Rewriting Second Amendment Threats

Posted by on April 13, 2022

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), codified at 15 U.S.C. § 7901 et seq., has nearly banished the specter of civil liability for covered gun industry entities. PLCAA was predicated on the claim that gun industry actors, including firearm manufacturers and sellers, were under siege from baseless lawsuits founded on novel legal […]

Public Nuisance Liability and the Irrelevance of the Second Amendment

Posted by on April 12, 2022

1. Introduction In 2005, the U.S. Congress bestowed on gun makers and sellers broad immunity from civil lawsuits by enacting the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Congress explicitly based this immunity on the need to protect Second Amendment rights, pitting defenders of those rights against victims of criminal gun violence seeking to […]

The Road to The Sandy Hook Settlement

Posted by on April 8, 2022

Over a recent five week period, $430 million was awarded to victims of gun violence in court cases:  a federal judge in Texas ordered the Air Force to pay $230 million to victims of the Sutherland Springs church shooting; the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to pay $127 million to victims of the Parkland High […]

Litigation Highlight: Smith & Wesson v. Attorney General of New Jersey

Posted by on March 16, 2022

Last Thursday, the Third Circuit partially vindicated Smith & Wesson in its ongoing battle with the New Jersey Attorney General. In Smith & Wesson v. Attorney General of New Jersey, the panel reversed the district court’s dismissal of Smith & Wesson’s lawsuit against the NJAG, which arises out of the AG’s administrative subpoena for business […]

Stronger than PLCAA: Civil Immunity for Unlawful Conduct

Posted by on March 4, 2022

The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is in the news lately, due in large part to the recent settlement between the now-bankrupt Remington Arms and the families of the Sandy Hook victims. I recently wrote about how I see that case as a turning point in gun litigation, with more potential […]

Privatizing the Gun Debate – Conference at Duke Law on March 18th

Posted by on February 16, 2022

We are very excited to announce that the Center will be hosting a conference at Duke Law School on Friday, March 18th on the theme Privatizing the Gun Debate. The conference will explore the ways in which private actors are increasingly taking on a major role in the gun debate. These actors participate not just […]

Government Faces Massive Civil Liability for Sutherland Springs Mass Shooting

Posted by on February 9, 2022

In a significant ruling on civil liability for gun-related fatalities, a federal trial court this past week ordered the federal government to pay more than $230 million to families and victims of the 2017 Sutherland Springs mass shooting. The survivors and their kin sued under the Federal Tort Claims Act, alleging that the Air Force’s […]

Gun Industry Tort Shields and DOJ’s Defense of Congressional Enactments

Posted by on October 27, 2021

In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). That law provides fairly robust protection for most gun industry actors (e.g., manufacturers and dealers) when a firearm is used by a third party to cause harm. There’s a fair debate to be had about whether most of the lawsuits that PLCAA […]

PLCAA’s Constitutionality: Gustafson v. Springfield

Posted by on August 25, 2021

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court sitting en banc heard oral arguments in Gustafson v. Springfield Inc., et al. This is a rehearing en banc in a case in which the original appellate panel became the first court (at least of which I am aware) to declare the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) […]

Scholarship Highlight: New Works on Firearms Law

Posted by on August 18, 2021

As we gear up for the Supreme Court’s hearing of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen in November, other firearms law and Second Amendment issues continue to be litigated in lower courts and debated in the literature. Here are new pieces that take on the issue of public carry (just recently posted to […]

Scholarship Highlight – Forthcoming Gun Law Articles

Posted by on May 12, 2021

Today, I’m highlighting several forthcoming articles by established scholars and veterans of firearms law scholarship. These pieces raise interesting and often under-explored aspects of the legal regulation of guns. Drury D. Stevenson, Workplace Violence, Firearm Prohibitions, and the New Gun Rights, University of San Francisco Law Review, Vol. 55, 2021 Abstract: Workplace violence is surprisingly […]

The Biden Administration Gun Plan

Posted by on December 2, 2020

On his campaign website, President-Elect Joe Biden lists several of his administration’s priorities for firearm regulation. Since the actual policy proposals are not spelled out in depth, it is hard to evaluate the precise details of his plan. And, of course, the ones that require congressional action are much less likely to pass if the […]

Upcoming Conference on Firearms Litigation

Posted by on November 25, 2020

On December 1st, the Center on Civil Justice at NYU School of Law is hosting what will be a very fascinating conference: Firearms Litigation: Liability, Regulation, and the Constitution. We are delighted to team up with the Center on Civil Justice and co-cosponsor the event with the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at […]

New Decision in a (Very) Old Case: City of Gary v. Smith & Wesson Corp

Posted by on December 13, 2019

On November 26, the Indiana Supreme Court denied review in an important case regarding tort liability for gun manufacturers and the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA): City of Gary v. Smith & Wesson Corp. The latest ruling leaves in place a Court of Appeals decision from last May, which in turn means […]

Hints from Parker Drilling for the Sandy Hook Litigation?

Posted by on June 13, 2019

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court unanimously decided a sleepy statutory interpretation question concerning the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. That case, however, may contain clues about how the Court could approach the interpretive question involved in the Sandy Hook litigation over the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

PLCAA, Sandy Hook, and Appealability

Posted by on June 10, 2019

The Connecticut Supreme Court recently allowed a suit arising from the Sandy Hook shooting to proceed against Remington. In doing so, it rejected Remington’s argument that the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) bars the suit. Remington plans to seek U.S. Supreme Court review. But can it seek that review now?

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