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With Its Anti-Gun ‘Nuisance’ Law Designed to Punish Gun Makers, New York Reconvenes Its Gun Control Circular Firing Squad

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They’re not even properly socially distanced…by New York standards (Shutterstock)

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New York is not done with its circular firing squad on gun control.

The New York nuisance law was crafted after a series of failures of similar such nuisance laws in areas ranging from paint to, yes, guns. Indeed, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, giving gun sellers and manufacturers immunity from liability arising out of the criminal misuse of firearms.

It is political merit — rather than legal merit — that has often propelled New York anti-gun laws. In this latest effort, the state sought to aim big by using an exception under the law if a company “knowingly violated a state or federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing” of firearms. If allowed, the exception would swallow the rule, in a law expressly directed at preempting such nuisance lawsuits.

Cuomo himself made the case against the law by publicly declaring that it was designed “to reinstate public nuisance liability for gun manufacturers.” He declared the New York law as doing precisely what Congress forbade: “The only industry in the United States of America immune from lawsuits are the gun manufacturers, but we will not stand for that any longer.” 

The statement was remarkably moronic in a preemption case, but also showed the contempt not just for the courts but the public at large. Cuomo had no qualms in admitting that the law was a work-around of the federal law because it was more of a political than legal effort.

Now, the courts are likely to deliver another loss for New York and another big win for the Second Amendment.

— Jonathan Turley in New York aims big on gun control — and misses, again

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