A federal judge ruled Tuesday to block a New Jersey law that allows the state’s attorney general to take legal action against gun manufacturers.
U.S. District Judge Zahid Nisar Quraishi, an appointee of President Joe Biden, granted a preliminary injunction against New Jersey’s “public nuisance” law Tuesday, saying is in “direct conflict” with the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), according to the opinion in the United States District Court of New Jersey Trenton Vicinage. The “public nuisance” law allows the attorney general to seek legal action against gun manufacturers if it is deemed that they endangered public safety through sales or marketing practices.
The PLCAA, enacted in 2005, protects gun manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. The opinion was delivered in the NSSF v Platkin case and follows a Monday ruling by U.S. District Judge Reneé Marie Bumb, who placed a second temporary restraining order on portions of New Jersey’s concealed carry law.
“We think this is important because other states are currently considering public nuisance statues modeled on what New Jersey, New York, Delaware and California have done,” Lawrence Keane, a senior vice president for government and public affairs at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and plaintiff in the case, told Politico.
“We will be filing a lawsuit in the coming months in California to challenge the California statute. Today’s decision will be impactful in giving other state legislatures pause before they enact an unconstitutional law,” he continued.
LEGAL ALERT: A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against New Jersey’s gun industry liability law, saying it “is in direct conflict with the PLCAA’s purpose.” https://t.co/4mbDkMzpPg pic.twitter.com/tAYXJAZDlG
— FPC Action Foundation (@FPCAction) January 31, 2023
Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was “disappointed” by Quraishi’s opinion, but is “confident that this decision will be swiftly reversed on appeal,” a spokesperson told Politico. (RELATED: Dem Politicians Push For Crackdown On Gun Rights In Aftermath Of Mass Shootings)
“The district court’s decision enjoining New Jersey’s public nuisance law is unprecedented and unsupportable,” New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The New Jersey Legislature acted lawfully when it adopted public nuisance legislation to hold the gun industry accountable, and nothing in federal law allows firearms manufacturers to violate our state statutes with impunity.”
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