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Top Court Won't Hear NYC Suit Against Gun Industry

By Admin on March 09, 2009 10:07 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away the City of New York's latest attempts at holding the firearms industry legally responsible for violence caused by the marketing of handguns that end up being sold and used unlawfully.

The lawsuits, originally filed in 2000 against gun makers like Beretta, Smith & Wesson, and Colt, sought to hold the companies liable under a New York "public nuisance" law. The City of New York basically alleged that the gun makers created a dangerous condition that affected the safety of a large number of New Yorkers, by letting handguns fall into the wrong hands through illegal and private sales. A federal appeals court threw out the claims, ruling that a 2005 law shields gun makers from such lawsuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to disturb that decision.

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit claimed "manufacturers let handguns reach illegal markets at gun shows in which non-licensed people can sell to other private citizens; through private sales in which background checks are not required; by oversupplying markets where gun regulations are lax, and by having poor overall security."

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