U.S. District Court Judge Zahid Quraishi, a Biden appointee, killed a new law that was widely celebrated by anti-gun Liberals and Democrats. The law would have allowed the state to shut down, and likely bankrupt, the firearms industry if a single gun were misused in a crime.
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The Federal Judge said that he agreed with the gun industry that the New Jersey law was likely unconstitutional and granted the National Shooting Sports Foundation a preliminary injunction.
In a 20-page opinion, the Judge said that the New Jersey law signed last summer by Gov. Phil Murphy ignored a larger federal law (the PLCAA) that protects the makers of guns, and other items, from being dragged into court when somebody misuses their product.
Judge Quraishi said that the federal 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) gives immunity to gun and ammo makers and sellers against the types of public nuisance laws Murphy championed.
“The court is mindful that firearms are inherently dangerous and even more so in the wrong hands,” wrote the judge, “but it is also mindful that the PLCAA embodies Congress’s earnest effort to balance those dangers against the national interest in protecting access to firearms.”
Mark Oliva, the spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told a Washington Examiner reporter, “It’s a basic understanding of tort law. It’s the foundation of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, that anyone that criminally misuses a firearm or a product is responsible for the damages caused by their crime, not the person that lawfully made, lawfully sold that product.”
In an initial filing last November, the NSSF said the New Jersey law “is squarely preempted by federal law. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, several state and local governments sought to use novel applications of common law theories like negligence and nuisance to impose civil liability on manufacturers and sellers of firearms and ammunition when third parties misused their products. Congress saw these lawsuits for what they were: unconstitutional efforts to stamp out lawful and constitutionally protected activity.”
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