8090 – A Flash and a Pan


Suits against gun manufacturers are still coming up empty.  This case got started ten years ago when Bufford Furrow shot and wounded five victims at a Jewish community summer camp in Granada Hills, California and later shot and killed a postal worker.  The shooting victims and the postal workers’ widows sued the manufacturers, distributors and sellers of the guns, claiming they knew the weapons would be obtained by illegal purchases for criminal purposes.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the case to proceed, but then Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which specifically requires that Federal Courts immediately dismiss civil actions for damages against manufacturers or sellers of qualified firearms, and the Court held it had no choice but to dismiss the case.  The plaintiffs argued the shootings occurred before the law was passed, but the Court said Congress can change the law while cases are pending.  The suit against one Chinese defendant will continue, but as for Glock and all the others, the cases, like the victims, have been blown away.

Ileto vs. Glock, Inc., Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 06-56872, May 11, 2009, Graber, J., USLW, Vol. 77, No. 44, Pg. 1705 5-19-09