Bad news for Bloomberg: Supreme Court says law means what it says

New York City’s jihad against guns suffered a set-back today:

New York City on Monday failed before the U.S. Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit it filed against the gun industry.

New York sued several gun manufacturers in 2000, arguing the companies violated a state public nuisance law with their marketing and distribution of the firearms products they sell. Among the companies sued were Beretta USA Corp., Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC), Colt’s Manufacturing Co. LLC, Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) and Glock GmbH.

A federal law enacted in 2005 sought to shield gun makers from lawsuits like the one New York filed, prompting a federal judge to throw the case out. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in April 2008 upheld that ruling by a 2-1 vote.

New York, in a court brief, said the 2005 law violates state rights under the U.S. Constitution. “This congressional effort to control how states make law raises important questions about the Tenth Amendment’s protections of state sovereignty,” New York said.

The gun manufacturers, in a joint legal brief, said the federal appeals court correctly applied the 2005 statute and argued the law does not violate the Constitution. “This case does not qualify for Supreme Court review,” the gun makers said.

Definitely good news. This, of course, doesn’t affect the remaining cases Bloomberg’s little “sting” operation produced, such as the one against Adventure Outdoors.

On the other hand, this makes the prospects of an appeal by the gun manufacturers who have fallen victim to the Indiana Supreme Court’s (mis?)judgment in the Gary, Indiana lawsuit look considerably better, I would think.

I should probably acknowledge, though, that I can’t quite dismiss the possibility that there might be some merit to NYC’s legal counsel’s argument that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act violates states’ rights–I don’t have the legal mind to make that determination. I know Dr. Ron Paul didn’t vote for PLCA Act, for that very reason. I have to take that seriously.

Still, if the “interstate commerce clause” can be used by the feds as providing the only Constitutional authority justifying their insistence on regulating just about everything they want to, I can’t help but take a bit of satisfaction at the thought that maybe the feds are once again exercising authority they don’t have, but this time to thwart oppressive measures by state and/or municipal governments.

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