Big Gun Control is Big Mad After Indiana Shuts Down City of Gary’s 25-Year Nuisance Suit Against the Gun Industry

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. Image via X (Eric Holcomb).

Big Gun Control has a case of big mads that the Indiana legislature has finally put an end to the 25-year-long nuisance lawsuit filed by the City of Gary against the gun industry. First filed last century, the lawfare suit has lingered and then lingered some more. But after Indiana’s Governor signed House Bill 1235 last Friday, the suit’s days are numbered.

Again, Big Gun Control has the big mads and isn’t above overstating the case about their abuse of the legal system . . .

What is the gun industry trying to hide? Ms. Brown, you have had a quarter century to uncover any skeletons and have failed to find any smoking gun. Pun intended.

Brown had her gun control operation echo the sentiment . . .

Most consequential legal case? Compared to what? The other cases that have also been dismissed for lack of standing, time and time again?

If the case was so allegedly consequential and important, why didn’t Giffords or Everytown bother to mention this travesty in their Twitter feeds?

The NSSF certainly didn’t let the moment pass . . .

And the NSSF offered this statement cheering the move ending this long exercise in lawfare.

NSSF, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, praises Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signing of House Bill 1235, legislation that “provides that only the state of Indiana may bring or maintain an action by or on behalf of a political subdivision against a firearm or ammunition manufacturer, trade association, seller, or dealer concerning certain matters.” The bill “prohibits a political subdivision from otherwise independently bringing or maintaining such an action.”

The industry members the City of Gary sued are expected to promptly file a motion to dismiss the case based on this new law that became effective immediately upon the Governor’s signature. Lawyers representing the city acknowledged in their testimony opposing the bill that if it were to be enacted it would mean the City of Gary’s lawsuit will be dismissed. The City of Gary’s nearly quarter-century old frivolous lawsuit against firearm manufacturers seeks to hold them responsible for the criminal actions of unrelated and remote third parties.

“This is a tremendous victory for common sense. The City of Gary never had a serious claim. Instead, it was committed to a losing strategy of lawfare to abuse the courts in order to force through gun control policy outside of legislative channels,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel. “NSSF is grateful for Indiana Rep. Chris Jeter for his leadership when he introduced this legislation, the Indiana legislature including Sen. Aaron Freeman for its commitment to the law and Governor Holcomb for his faithfulness to the principles of ensuring politically-motivated lawsuits don’t clog our courts and allow special-interests to circumvent the legislative authority reserved by the State of Indiana.”

The City of Gary, Ind., first filed their claims in 1999, as part of a coordinated effort by 40 big city mayors who conspired together through the U.S. Conference of Mayors with gun control activist from Brady United (formerly known as the Brady Center), lawyers and trial lawyers.

All these municipal lawsuits have either been dismissed by the courts, e.g., Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Fransico, Detroit and St. Louis, or simply dropped by several cities, e.g., Boston, Cincinnati and Camden. Many of these municipal lawsuits were dismissed based on state preemption laws enacted between the 1999 to 2001 time period upon which H.B. 1235 is modeled. Like H.B. 1235, these laws – that have been upheld by the courts – reserve to the state the exclusive authority to sue members of the industry except that they allow for breach of warranty and related claims for firearms a political subdivision purchased.

Additionally, Congress passed in a broad bipartisan fashion, and President George W. Bush signed into law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005. The PLCAA blocks lawsuits that attempt to hold firearm and ammunition industry companies liable for the criminal actions of third parties who misuse the industry’s lawful non-defective products. More specifically, this common-sense law ensures that responsible and law-abiding federally licensed manufacturers and retailers of firearms and ammunition are not unjustly blamed in federal and state civil actions for “the harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse” these products that function as designed and intended.

Good riddance. The end of the Gary lawsuit should have come at least a couple of decades sooner.

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