Free Markets, Free People

SCOTUS turns down New York gun lawsuit

The Supreme Court smacked down New York City and Mike Bloomberg:

New York City on Monday failed before the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit it filed against the gun industry.

New York sued several gun manufacturers in 2000, arguing the companies violated a state public nuisance law with their marketing and distribution of the firearms products they sell. Among the companies sued were Beretta USA Corp., Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC), Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) and Glock GmbH.

A federal law enacted in 2005 sought to shield gun makers from lawsuits like the one New York filed, prompting a federal judge to throw the case out. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in April 2008 upheld that ruling by a 2-1 vote.

New York, in a court brief, said the 2005 law violates state rights under the U.S. Constitution. “This congressional effort to control how states make law raises important questions about the Tenth Amendment’s protections of state sovereignty,” New York said.

The gun manufacturers, in a joint legal brief, said the federal appeals court correctly applied the 2005 statute and argued the law does not violate the Constitution. “This case does not qualify for Supreme Court review,” the gun makers said.

Does anyone else get New York’s argument in this case? Talk about non-sense.

H/T: Of Arms and the Law

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3 Responses to SCOTUS turns down New York gun lawsuit

  • I do!


    *only when politically necessary

  • Jason PyeDoes anyone else get New York’s argument in this case?

    I’m trying to be charitable, but I’d say that NYC is trying to make a federalist (!) case of it: “We are a sovereign state and have the right to sue manufacturers who, in our judgment, are selling unsafe products.  The federal government has not got the right to tell us that we can’t.”

    Less chartitably, their argument is, “We wanna sue ’em.  There’s gotta be SOMETHING in the Constitution that will let us, right?”

    It’s crap, though.  While the interstate commerce clause is a sorely abused part of our nearly dead Constitution, it DOES exist for just such a reason: to keep individual states from making interstate commerce (and, hence, national economic health) prohibitively difficult.

    I also sneer at New York suing because the gun companies “violated a state public nuisance law with their marketing and distribution of the firearms products they sell.” A nuisance law?  Firearms ads are typically pretty staid and not exactly widely distributed; one hardly ever sees them outside the pages of specialty magazines and a very few select TV programs.  How the hell can they be reasonably called a “nuisance”?  Frankly, Mentos commercials are more irritating!

  • And notice: not a word from the White House on this decision. No cheers OR jeers.

    Maybe The Clown™ can postulate both sides to the argument. After all, he is the only candidate in the last hundred years or so who was both for taking guns – including handguns – from people, at the same time that he believed that owning guns was a fundamental right.

    That is why The Clown™ is part of what I call the “HBB” crowd – all horsesh!t, bullsh!t and bullcrap.