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AndyS's Journal
AndyS's Journal
August 12, 2021

The Courts are the key to gun regulation. We should set them free of the PLCAA

LA Officers to sue Polymer80 after being shot by one of it's home made ghost guns

Two LA Sheriff’s Deputies have initiated legal proceedings against pistol kit manufacturer Polymer80 after being shot by one of its firearms last year. 
In their lawsuit, the officers allege that Polymer80 negligently sold an “untraceable home-assembled ghost gun kit,” which later seriously injured them during an ambush in Compton. The case is just the latest in a string of attempts by U.S. authorities to clamp down on unlicensed firearms, but it could set a precedent for future issues that arise around self-assembled guns, which are often 3D printed. 

Deputies Claudia Apolinar and Emmanuel Perez-Perez’s case is predicated on an ambush that took place in September 2020, during which they were shot in the head and arms while sitting in their police cruiser. Since then, neither officer has been able to return to work, with Apolinar suffering a broken jaw and arms, and Perez-Perez requiring the implantation of metal plates to hold his bones together. 
The case raises issues around homemade firearms given that the Deputies’ alleged assailant Deonte Lee Murray had previous criminal convictions, and was unable to buy a normal gun. Despite this, Murray managed to acquire a PF940C kit, which is designed as a frame replacement for a Glock 19 or 23, without Polymer80 notifying the authorities, before attacking law enforcement officers late last year. 


They can sue because Polymer80 doesn't sell guns so they don't get to claim protection under the PLCAA.

The kit includes everything needed to assemble a complete firearm. All that needs to be done is some minor finish work like drilling a few holes to make the 'gun part' into a 'gun'. It also sells for more than the 'real' gun available in any gun store. Why would anyone spend more money and invest the time and energy to drill and fit parts instead of just buying the gun? Oh, that's right, some people can't pass a background check!

The law suit also says that the Polymer80 knew their firearms were likely to be used for criminal purposes, and that the shooter was able to commit the ambush because Polymer80's created a direct and secondary market with easy access to ghost guns. The shooter chose to shoot the Deputies with this Polymer80 ghost gun because he knew it was untraceable.

The whole 'ghost gun' industry, and it is and industry, will be hard to regulate. With a third of all crime guns in California being 'home made' with no way to trace them indicates that ghost guns are a major issue in gun violence.

The Biden administration wants to serialize the partly finished guns and repeal the PLCAA.

That's a start.
August 10, 2021


Smith & Wesson must give N.J. internal documents on how it markets guns, courts rule

New Jersey’s top law enforcement official is renewing a demand for Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. to turn over internal documents on how it markets guns after courts ruled against the manufacturer.
“When I say that we need to be creative, this past fall I subpoenaed Smith & Wesson for documents relating to what I believe is their false advertising in New Jersey,” Grewal said early June during a virtual roundtable hosted by March for Our Lives, a Florida-based nonprofit that advocates for stricter gun laws.

The company ran local commercials that claimed “gun use would make people safer” without providing evidence or acknowledging New Jersey laws that limit where guns can be carried, Grewal said.

The article outlines a broader approach New Jersey is taking in the struggle to decrease gun violence. Former state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in essence invited any law firm, in or out of state, with experience in the gun arena to take part in civil suits on a contingency basis. Effectively saying we'll provide the case and if you pursue it you get a % of any settlement.

Cities and States are fighting back and now have a tool provided by the Sandy Hook families; the way gun makers market their product. The hope is that if the public can get a look at how guns are sold to the public and management held accountable in public hearings the result will be the same as big tabacco.

Wouldn't that be a glorious sight? I'd cough up whatever they charge for a Pay Per View it went to more attempts to curb the gun industry's bloody business of death.

August 8, 2021

The Case That Could Topple the Gun Industry's Special Legal Protections Part 2

Part one in here: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215706458 These are the details.

Pa. Superior Court rules gun law unconstitutional, says lawsuit in teen's death can proceed

The plaintiffs argued the PLCAA interferes with authority that should be reserved by the state. They claimed the act bars states from  imposing liability on gun companies and immunizes the gun industry from every conceivable type of liability known to the common law.

What the court said in its 63 page opinion:

The Defendants [Springfield Arms] responded by saying the act is not a 10th Amendment violation because it does not commandeer the powers of state executive officials or the legislative process, a point the court called a strawman argument.

“[T]he Defendants do not answer the Gustafsons’ [teenager's parents] theory,” Judge Kunselman wrote. “The Gustafsons never alleged the PLCAA commandeers political branches.” Rather, the family asserted Congress’ passage of the act “usurped” the states’ powers and the judiciary’s lawmaking authority. 

“If we accept the Federal Government’s theory that filing a state action, in a state court, is within Congress’s reach, then the 50 states must forfeit all their sovereignty to the Federal Government,”

The court found that the entirety of the PLCAA is unconstitutional, saying such bills have no place in American democracy and calling it “repugnant to the Constitution of the United States and, therefore, without the force or effect of law.”

This opinion was issued in 2020 so as the gears grind slowly perhaps something will come to head soon. It will at least go the the PA supreme court and perhaps to the SCOTUS.

I have wondered how such a law could be any more legitimate than a Monopoly "get out of jail free" card. Courts are usually reluctant to give up their authority and take being the third co-equal branch of government seriously.

We shall see how this proceeds. Watch this space . . .

August 6, 2021

The Case That Could Topple the Gun Industry's Special Legal Protections


A Pennsylvania court ruled September 28 that a law that has for decades insulated the gun industry from lawsuits is unconstitutional. The opinion quashes an attempt by the Illinois-based gun manufacturer Springfield Armory to dismiss a suit brought by the family of a Pennsylvania teenager killed with one of its guns.

If the ruling stands, no gun company will be able to use the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, to dismiss a lawsuit in the state of Pennsylvania. But the implications are potentially far greater. If the decision survives appeal at the state level, it is likely to catch the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court. A ruling against PLCAA at the federal level would provoke the gun industry’s worst fears, exposing companies to the kinds of product-liability suits that forced sweeping reforms in the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and automotive industries.

“This decision puts this case on the national radar in a way it would never have been otherwise,” said Timothy Lytton, a legal scholar at Georgia State University who edited a book on the history of gun industry litigation. There have traditionally been two strategies for getting past PLCAA’s immunity, he said, and this case represents the most ambitious: “Strategy One is trying to penetrate the immunity wall by finding cracks” via the law’s narrow exceptions. “Strategy Two is to knock down the wall with a wrecking ball… If this Pennsylvania case succeeds, it’s going to knock the whole wall down.”
(emphasis mine)

The case in point is here: https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2018/03/20/parents-of-teen-shot-and-killed-by-friend-file-wrongful-death-lawsuit/It involves the lack of safety devices or inadequate safety devices on guns. A young man was killed when his friend picked up a gun that had no magazine loaded into it and pulled the trigger only to find there was a round in the chamber, a round that killed his friend.

The PLCAA allows gun makers to be sued if they knowingly make a defective product BUT it allows the gun manufacturers to define a defect. Just call it a design feature and voila, no defect.

Oh, please, if there is a God of some kind please let this hit the SCOTUS and have them rule in favor of the Pennsylvania court.
August 5, 2021

Guns and penises . . . The marketing of death.

The Sandy Hook lawsuit against Remington hinges on one thing: Do gun manufacturers aim advertising at vulnerable males who feel their masculinity is threatened?

Remington is willing to pay $33 million to keep their marketing information secret. There must be some really nasty shit in those memos, don'ya think?

So, do gun makers advertise to men who might need a little, ah, 'boost'? You be the judge . . .


When they aren't pandering to the misogynic impulse with semi naked women there's always the epitome of testosterone; the Military image of war fighting tough guys.

Then there's the ad to end all ads:

Yet I have it on good authority from any number of gunners that guns are NOT penis substitutes . . .

August 4, 2021

Seen outside Smith and Wesson's

Springfield, Mass headquarters:

August 4, 2021

Mexico sues U.S. gun companies, alleging 'massive damage' that is 'destabilizing' to society

The Mexican government on Wednesday presented a civil lawsuit against several U.S. gun manufacturers.

The lawsuit alleges that they knowingly supply the criminal gun market in Mexico, noting that their military-style guns often end up in the hands of drug cartels.

The Mexican government seeks compensation for the “massive damage” and bloodshed allegedly caused by the defendants’ conduct.

A majority of traceable crime guns in Mexico come from the USA. Not just killing at home, exporting death at every opportunity!
August 4, 2021

The gun industry's PLCAA armor is further cracked by a new two-fer!

Not long ago I posted about the Sandy Hook Lawsuit against Remington in the deaths of 20 first grade children and six of their teachers. The post was about a legal victory against the gun industry and how others are using the same legal tactic; going after gun makers for the way they market their deadly product. https://www.democraticunderground.com/100215687099

Two other suits are pending!

Victims of a 2014 Dayton, Ohio mass shooting are suing the manufacturer of the 100 round drum magazine that allowed the shooter to fire 41 times in 32 seconds killing 9 and wounding 17 others. Citing negligent entrustment and public nuisance in the suit they claim that :

The company made and sold 100-round magazines fully aware they “have no or negligible utility for lawful uses of firearms but pose a tremendous risk to public safety because they are extremely effective and attractive for use in unlawful mass shootings,”

In another lawsuit a federal judge dismissed an appeal by Smith and Wesson in the case against them by the NJ AG in the marketing of their guns for self defense. The AG is suing the gun maker for marketing their guns as necessary for home defense and personal defense without grounds to show that the guns do either. U.S. District Judge Julien Neals rejected the attempt to move the trail to federal court without exhausting state court appeals. Typically state courts are less sympathetic than federal courts in such cases. https://www.courthousenews.com/federal-judge-dismisses-gunmakers-suit-over-new-jersey-ags-subpoena/

So please join me in offering heartfelt and tearful thanks to the Sandy Hook parents who have used their pain and grief to power them forward in the fight to find justice for their children and all others who have had lives taken or ruined by the gun industry in their pursuit of profit.
August 1, 2021

We have a victory for gun sense! It's complicated, but stay with me.

We have finally found a chink in the gun industry's armor. Hang with me while I wade through the details.

The PLCAA (Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act) was signed into law in 2005. It was the ILA's (the legal arm of the NRA) answer to a a number of cities bringing public nuisance* law suits against gun makers for their failure to control the flow of guns into their populations. The law effectively shields the gun makers from any responsibility for the sales, distribution and use or misuse of their product. No other product has such widespread protection from responsibility for their product. NONE.

In 2014 the families of Sandy Hook children brought suit against Remington Arms, the manufacturer of the gun used by Alan Lanza to murder 20 children and 6 caregivers for the sale of that weapon. It was immediately dismissed under the PLCAA.

Their attorneys appealed on different grounds, again it was dismissed. Finally the attorney's found s clause in the Connecticut constitution that protects against false and damaging advertising and filed yet again under that statute. They sued claiming that the rifle was marketed to vulnerable young men as a bolster to masculinity. It was appealed all the way to the State Supreme Court where it was ruled a viable suit with standing.

Plaintiffs asked for discovery to include all internal and external documents and communications regarding marketing. Remington responded with 6000 pages of junk which the plaintiffs appealed. REMINGTON RESPONDED WITH AN OFFER OF $33 MILLION TO MAKE IT GO AWAY! There must be some really nasty shit in those documents, doncha' think?

Since their success in bringing the suit the victims of the San Diego Synagogue shooting have brought suit on the same grounds and the state of New York has re-written their public nuisance laws to include guns and gun dealers specifically making it possible to reach across state lines to hold gun dealers accountable (74% of recovered crime guns come from outside the state).

Aside from that the Remington offer, accepted or not, will make banks and insurance companies rethink the gun industry as a client.

What this means is WE WON! No matter what happens next is secondary. The gun industry is NO LONGER BULLET PROOF.

* A public nuisance is any action that interferes with the rights and well being of a society or a group within society. Think about a cigarette store next to a high school or a topless bar near a church.

July 29, 2021

The legal battle between Good and Evil

Everytown for Gun Safety on Wednesday announced the launch of a litigation fund aimed at supporting legal claims by survivors of gun violence.

Everytown Law, the legal division of the gun control advocacy group that is made up of lawyers working to advance gun safety measures through the court system, said in a press release that it hopes to “support legal action seeking to address the impact of gun violence on disproportionately affected communities, including Black, Latino, and other communities of color.”
“A lack of resources shouldn’t prevent gun violence survivors and their allies from holding reckless actors in the gun industry accountable,” Tirschwell argued.
Legal efforts that may be supported by the fund include claims filed by survivors of gun violence, unfair or deceptive marketing of guns and “lawsuits seeking to compel state and local officials to enforce gun safety laws,” the organization said.

Meanwhile the NRA is spending massive amounts to simply stay in existence.

NRA Spending on Lawyers Is on Pace for Record This Year
The National Rifle Association racked up $22 million in legal costs in the first five months of 2021, on pace to surpass the record $40 million spent for all of last year, even as efforts to match its 2020 revenue faltered, internal documents indicate.

Legal costs were the nonprofit’s largest single expense after membership activities in the five months through May, when a judge rejected the gun-rights group’s bid to reorganize through bankruptcy, documents obtained by Bloomberg show.
The recent financial data illustrate the challenges the NRA faces after years when revenue has remained below its peak, though the group said it added about 350,000 new members in 2021, and has cut operating costs. Tax records show revenue fell 21% from 2016 to 2019, while unaudited results for last year and the NRA’s below-budget performance so far in 2021 indicate further declines.

It would appear that reason and simple humanity is slowly gaining ground in the continuing battle against the gun industry and the culture it has spawned. The further good news is that as long as the NRA is spending on it's survival there's less for the purchase of legislators.

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Pelican Bay, TX 76020
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Member since: Thu Jan 20, 2005, 02:07 PM
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