October 12, 2012, 11:49 AM
NY Courtís Decision in Gun-Liability Case Described as Groundbreaking
By Sam Favate
A decision last week by a New York State appellate court to reinstate a gun liability lawsuit is being held up as a landmark by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
In a unanimous decision, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, held that a Buffalo man who was shot nearly a decade ago can sue the manufacturer of the weapon, as well as the distributor and dealer. This case marks the first instance of a court holding that a gun manufacturer or distributor can be held liable under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, according to the Brady Center.
A lower court had tossed the case, based on the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a 2005 law that protects gun manufacturers and sellers. But the appeals court held that the law, which was signed by President George W. Bush, doesnít provide immunity to gun companies that illegally supply gun traffickers or irresponsible dealers, Reuters noted. The case now goes back to the trial court.