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City of New York v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp.
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
524 F.3d 384 (2008)
The City of New York (the city) (plaintiff) filed suit against Beretta U.S.A. Corporation and other manufacturers and sellers of firearms (the firearms suppliers) (defendants) in federal district court. The city sought injunctive relief and nuisance abatement, alleging that the firearms suppliers sold guns to legitimate buyers with the knowledge that the guns would be diverted into illegal markets. During a period when the case was stayed, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which banned civil suits against manufacturers and sellers of properly functioning firearms. However, the act contained an exception, known as the predicate exception, for suits arising from violation of state or federal statutes that expressly regulated the sale or marketing of firearms. The firearms suppliers moved for dismissal of the suit on the basis of the PLCAA. The city countered that the suit fell within the predicate exception, with the predicate statute being New York’s law on criminal nuisance in the second degree. The city also challenged the constitutionality of the PLCAA. The United States intervened to defend the PLCAA’s constitutionality but did not take a position on the litigation. The district court held that the suit fell within the predicate exception and therefore would not be dismissed. The court also found the PLCAA constitutional. Both sides appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Miner, J.)
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