Weinstein Reversed Again, This Time in NYC’s Suit Against Gun Makers (WSJ Lawblog)


Personally, I feel if the states want to ban guns, it’s up to the populace, but if some federal overseer attempts to trump the constitution for all states, then we might as well warm up for the 2nd American Revolution.


Brooklyn federal district Judge Jack Weinstein is known for getting assigned huge class actions with billions at stake. He’s also known for getting reversed by his colleagues on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In the latter respect, the month of April has been a doozie. On April 3, the Second Circuit reversed Weinstein in the so-called light cigarette litigation, decertifying a class of 50 million plaintiffs.

And today, the court tossed out New York City’s lawsuit accusing the gun industry of selling firearms with the knowledge they can be diverted into illegal markets. Here’s the early report from the AP, here’s the opinion.

The crux of the suit, which dates back to 2000: The city of New York sued the gun industry — including Beretta, Browning, Colt, Glock Inc. and a bunch of others — for facilitating “the movement of legally distributed handguns into illegal markets” by, among other things, facilitating “straw purchases” in which those qualified to purchase guns from the manufacturer, such as retailers, make purchases on behalf of those who aren’t qualified.

Back in 2005, Weinstein denied the manufacturers’ 12(b)(6) motion, holding that the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, did not require dismissal of the city’s case, which was brought under a New York criminal nuisance statute. In a 2-1 decision, a Second Circuit panel reversed, finding that the claim restrictions of the PLCAA did apply and barred the suit.

“I am disappointed in the court’s decision,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Regardless of this ruling, we will continue our fight against illegal guns full bore — in the courtrooms, on the streets and in the Congress.”

City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, the lead plaintiff lawyer, said his office “is analyzing the decision” before deciding whether to appeal.

Representing the gun manufacturers were, among others, lawyers from Jones Day, Hoffberger & Hollander, Bosick & Gordon, Greenberg Traurig and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon.


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