Ileto v. Glock, Inc.

565 F.3d 1126 (2009)

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Ileto v. Glock, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
565 F.3d 1126 (2009)

Facts

A man was illegally carrying seven firearms when he shot six people (plaintiffs). One of the victims, Joseph Ileto, died. In 2002, the survivors and Ileto’s estate filed state-law claims against several entities involved in the manufacturing and distribution of firearms. However, the only claims that were allowed to proceed were ones against the three entities that had made or distributed the firearms used in the shootings: Glock, Inc., RSR Wholesale Guns Seattle, Inc. (RSR), and China North Industries Corporation (China North) (defendants). In 2005, while the case was still pending, Congress enacted the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The PLCAA preempted most civil claims against federally licensed firearms dealers and manufacturers if the claims were based on injuries caused by the criminal use of a firearm product. During the legislative discussions about the need for the law, the Ileto lawsuit had been mentioned by name, and the PLCAA retroactively preempted existing claims as well as future claims. The district court ruled that the PLCAA was constitutional and applied it to dismiss the claims against Glock and RSR, which both held federal firearms licenses. Because China North was not federally licensed, the PLCAA did not impact the claims against it. The survivors and Ileto’s estate appealed the dismissal of their claims against Glock and RSR, arguing that the PLCAA was unconstitutional because it violated (1) the separation-of-powers doctrine, (2) equal-protection principles, (3) substantive due process, (4) the Takings Clause, and (5) procedural due process.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Graber, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Berzon, J.)

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