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Tort Claims

Von Lossberg v. State: State Liability for Gun Suicides & the Background Check System

Posted by on June 8, 2022

The Idaho Supreme Court recently held that the state could be held liable in a wrongful death action for negligently failing to add a name to the database used in gun purchase background checks.  In Von Lossberg v. State, the parents of a young man who committed suicide with a gun sued the state, the […]

A Fascinating New Case on Parking Lot Laws

Posted by on April 22, 2022

In a remarkably interesting decision issued a few weeks back, a federal district court in Kentucky declined to dismiss a lawsuit for wrongful discharge based on Kentucky laws that forbid employers from taking adverse action against employees who store guns in their cars in the company’s lot. In Sheard v. Novo Nordisk, Inc., No. 3:20-CV-152-BJB […]

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 […]

Guns and Banks: New Laws & Policies

Posted by on April 7, 2022

When gun manufacturers or dealers face civil liability for misuse of firearms, the liability costs eventually shift to investors (shareholders or owners), liability insurers, commercial lenders, or creditors (the debts they own now carry more risk), and indirectly to future customers, who may face price increases. Financial institutions (which I will call “banks,” though this […]

Does the Threat of Tort Liability Unduly Burden the Right to Bear Arms?

Posted by on April 6, 2022

When it passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005, Congress viewed the prospect of at least some forms of civil liability as a threat to the rights secured by the Second Amendment. In treating the right to keep and bear arms as one enjoyed by individuals and that would operate […]

Essays from Privatizing the Gun Debate Conference

Posted by on April 1, 2022

On March 18th, the Center hosted a conference at the law school on Privatizing the Gun Debate. We were grateful to be joined by a dozen scholars, practitioners, and public officials to discuss the ways that firearms are increasingly being regulated outside legislative channels through actions like tort lawsuits and business policies. The keynote address was deliver […]

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 […]