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Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders v. Beretta, U.S.A. Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
273 F.3d 536 (3rd Cir. 2001)


The Camden County Board of Chosen Freeholders (County) (plaintiff) brought suit against several handgun manufacturers, including Beretta, U.S.A. Corp. (Beretta) (defendant) based on negligence, negligent entrustment, and public nuisance theories. The County alleged that because of their marketing and distribution policies and practices, the manufacturers were liable for government costs arising from the criminal use of handguns in the County. Specifically, the County alleged that Beretta released into the market significantly more handguns than it expected to sell to lawful users; that it did not properly safeguard the channels in which guns were released or supervise their sale; that it did not penalize distributors for violating gun control laws; and that it received revenues from the criminal purchase of guns. The County did not allege any direct criminal acts performed by Beretta or any other gun manufacturer. The trial court dismissed the complaint, and the County appealed on the public nuisance theory only.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Per Curiam)

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