Almost shockingly, the liberal-dominated U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit against a major handgun maker because a deranged person used a legal gun in an illegal way on Monday this week.
In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel upheld a lower court’s ruling that the case, Ileto v. Glock, was nullified under the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a bill passed specifically to protect firearm makers, importers, distributors, and retailers from frivolous lawsuits that blamed them for a gun’s illegal use.
Anti-gun activists, finding it impossible to ban firearms with legislation, turned to lawsuits in the 1990s. They discovered that most firearm businesses were comparatively small and the costs involved in constantly defending again legal action ran many out of business, effectively achieving their goal one small gun dealer or maker at a time.
The lawsuits were the equivalent of suing GM because one of its cars was used in a hit-and-run accident, or suing a pharmaceutical company for illegal use of one its drugs. Since firearm makers and sellers are among the most highly-regulated businesses in the country, Congress decided these businesses didn’t need the added harassment from people looking for a quick buck or trying to bankrupt someone.
Common sense would make you wonder how there could have been a dissenting vote in this decision. Yet, after last year’s narrow 5-4 Supreme Court decision affirming the Second Amendment guarantee that individuals have the right to own firearms, you never take these things for granted. Especially here. This is where California legislators continue to try to ban firearms with “creative” laws that make gun ownership more expensive, onerous, or unpopular. Sadly, that might not violate the Second Amendment.