PLCAA Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed Beretta U.S.A. and the firearms industry another victory by rejecting the Brady Center's appeal of Adames v. Beretta U.S.A. Corporation challenging the constitutionality of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
The PLCAA is the 2005 federal law passed by Congress in response to the flood of reckless lawsuits brought by the Brady Center on behalf of anti-gun mayors seeking to hold members of the firearms industry liable for the criminal or unlawful misuse of their products.
This is now the third time this year the Supreme Court has denied a challenge to the PLCAA backed by the Brady Center. In March 2009, the Brady Center was also involved in the appeals of Lawson v. Beretta and City of New York v. Beretta, both of which the Supreme Court refused to hear. Monday's Supreme Court decision in the Adames case is another stinging setback to the Brady Center's failed anti-gun political agenda to destroy the individual right of Americans to keep and bear arms -- a right the Supreme Court declared last year in Heller was protected by the Second Amendment.
The Adames lawsuit was filed by the Brady Center on behalf of a family seeking to hold Beretta responsible for the tragic shooting death of their son, caused solely by the criminal acts of a teenage boy who gained unauthorized access to his father's unsecured service pistol. The case was originally dismissed by a Chicago trial court, subsequently reinstated in part by the Illinois Court of Appeals, and then ultimately found to be barred under the PLCAA by the Illinois Supreme Court. By its decision yesterday, the Supreme Court found it unnecessary to consider the Illinois Supreme Court's well-reasoned decision that held the PLCAA was both constitutional and clearly applicable to this lawsuit.
Representing Beretta in the case was Craig Livingston of the Livingston Law Firm, who after being notified of the Supreme Court's rejection of the appeal remarked, "And so ends a long legal battle -- from the trial court in Chicago, through the Illinois appellate courts, and all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court -- which served only to confirm what has been known since May 5, 2001, namely that this tragic shooting death was caused not by any defect in a Cook County Corrections Officer's Beretta pistol, but rather by its reckless misuse on that fateful day by his teenage son."
Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, applauded yesterday's Supreme Court rejection of the Brady Center's appeal, stating, "Frivolous and unsupported lawsuits such as Adames that attempt to force manufacturers of firearms to pay for the crimes of others over whom they have no control are precisely what the PLCAA is designed to stop."
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 5,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.