Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bloomberg’s Nine Year Suit Comes to an End

The New York Times is reporting that the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Bloomberg’s suit which alleges gunmakers flood “illicit markets with their firearms”. The case began nine years ago with Bloomberg suing several firearm makers and gun dealers for allegedly providing firearms illegally to individuals. Even in light of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a Brooklyn judge rule in 2005 that the suit could proceed under the narrow exception allows suits “when a gun maker or dealer has knowingly violated state or federal statutes in sales and marketing practices — by knowingly selling a weapon to someone who fails a criminal background check.” That move was strongly opposed by several manufacturers including "Beretta U.S.A., Browning Arms, Colt Manufacturing, Glock and Smith & Wesson."

Bloomberg was obviously disappointed by the decision:

“The court didn’t rule the way we wanted. [The lawsuit was] one part of our strategy to fight against illegal guns.”

While the fact that the Supreme Court refused to hear this case is a small victory for supporters of the Second Amendment, I believe this entire process represents a cautionary tale. It is clear that people like Bloomberg have many allies in the judiciary at this point - people who seem to be willing to split the finest hair of the law in order to find new ways to limit our right to keep and bear arms on multiple fronts.

Firearm manufacturers were seen as a visible public target, and Second Amendment opponents have tried to use “public nuisance” and “safety” laws the same way these were turned against Cigarette companies. The fundamental differences, however, are staggering. In the case of cigarette companies, they made a product with known health consequences which was also addicted. In the case of firearm manufacturers, they make a tool for self-defense. If an individual uses that tool in the commission of a crime, the firearm manufacturer is no more responsible for the actions of that individual than an automobile manufacturer is responsible for the actions of a drunk driver.

Thankfully this very dangerous avenue of attack has been curtailed by both the aforementioned Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and the ruling of the U.S. Appellate Court. Unfortunately, this just means that Bloomberg and his cronies will now sharpen their focus on local gun dealers under the assumption that all of them are corrupt. Bloomberg still represents a threat to our Civil Rights as to him, just about any gun is an “illegal gun”.

Until next time!!!

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