Skip to main content

New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and allow gunmakers to be sued if their lawfully made products are used for criminal purposes.

New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

With the increased number of shootings recently in New York City and some other large urban areas, one New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and allow gunmakers to be sued if their lawfully made products are used for criminal purposes.

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn justifies his actions with the statement, “Every illegal gun on the street was a legally purchased gun at one time.” Of course, to find their way into illegal hands, the guns had to be stolen or illegally trafficked at some point after they left the manufacturers’ facilities, which means Myrie is absolutely targeting the wrong people in seeking to punish manufacturers.

In fact, for a gun to fall into the hands of a violent criminal in New York City or anywhere else, at least one serious felony has to have occurred. And most felonies associated with illegal firearm transfers carry a five-year prison sentence.

Of course, the PLCAA was designed specifically to keep firearms manufacturers from being forced out of business with lawsuits and red tape if a criminal should use their legal, safe products in the commission of a crime. Passed in 2005, the law was spawned by gun haters attempting to run gunmakers out of business with constant frivolous lawsuits that forced manufacturers to spend millions of dollars fighting those suits.


Andrew Cuomo, then President Bill Clinton’s secretary of housing and urban development (HUD), actually admitted the strategy, warning gun makers that if they did not negotiate with the Clinton administration they would suffer “death by a thousand cuts” from all the lawsuits. And indeed, the lawsuits did run some small manufacturers out of business before Congress managed to pass PLCAA and President George Bush signed it into law.



Myrie’s bill would take a different tact from the complete repeal of PLCAA as suggested by both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. It would, instead, amend the state’s criminal nuisance law to include the sale or manufacture of products that endanger peoples’ health or safety, enabling New Yorkers to sue companies or individuals who violate the statute.

Given the New York legislature’s strong liberal influence, the measure will likely get more consideration than it should, so all gun manufacturers would be wise to keep it on their radar. Thankfully, courts have upheld the PLCAA multiple times over the years and could do so again in this case, depending on the court and the circumstances.

America’s gunmakers are an important part of the country’s cherished history and have provided arms for use by law-abiding Americans since the country was founded. Any effort to make them responsible for the behavior of criminals is a misplaced one that should be nipped in the bud.

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for the past 20 years.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

3 Ring Silencers

3 Ring Silencers

Patrick Sweeney heads to the range to look at suppressors from 3 Ring Silencer Corporation.

Leupold Freedom RDS

Leupold Freedom RDS

Patrick Sweeney reviews the Leupold Freedom RDS optic with bullet drop compensator!

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Gemtech Suppressors: Testing the Patrolman, the One and the Tracker

Patrick Sweeney tests and reviews a trio of Gemtech suppressors.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Leupold VX-Freedom AR scope line hits the sweet spot on frills, performance and cost to you.Leupold VX-Freedom AR Scopes Optics

Leupold VX-Freedom AR Scopes

Jim Angell - August 18, 2020

The Leupold VX-Freedom AR scope line hits the sweet spot on frills, performance and cost to...

For the first time in its 35-year-history, the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be a virtual online event, due to the current COVID-19 situation.2020 Gun Rights Policy Conference Is Online Event Due to COVID-19 Industry

2020 Gun Rights Policy Conference Is Online Event Due to COVID-19

Second Amendment Foundation - July 16, 2020

For the first time in its 35-year-history, the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference hosted by...

While Germany is the Edenic home of modern sniping, they were always one step behind the Soviets during World War II, despite fielding some excellent sniper rifles.German Sniper Rifles of World War I and II Rifles

German Sniper Rifles of World War I and II

David M. Fortier - August 13, 2020

While Germany is the Edenic home of modern sniping, they were always one step behind the...

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent frame.How To Build a Glock From an 80 Percent Frame Gunsmithing

How To Build a Glock From an 80 Percent Frame

Gus Norcross - August 13, 2020

This article will walk you through the process of building a Glock pistol from an 80 percent...

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

If you're not living under a rock, you've likely heard of House Resolution 127 introduced by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.What's the Worst Part of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's HR 127? 2nd Amendment

What's the Worst Part of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's HR 127?

Mark Chesnut - February 03, 2021

If you're not living under a rock, you've likely heard of House Resolution 127 introduced by...

While politicians who change their priorities every other year just to stay in office are an excellent reason why so many gun owners have become cynical about their supposed “life-saving” proposals, the fact that they continue to be reelected doesn't speak highly for voters' memories.Yet Another Reason Gun Owners Are Cynical About Politicians 2nd Amendment

Yet Another Reason Gun Owners Are Cynical About Politicians

Mark Chesnut - January 04, 2021

While politicians who change their priorities every other year just to stay in office are an...

Recent progress on Second Amendment legislation in Oklahoma shows how important a single election can be to the right to keep and bear arms.Oklahoma 2A Progress Shows How Elections Have Consequences 2nd Amendment

Oklahoma 2A Progress Shows How Elections Have Consequences

Mark Chesnut - March 01, 2021

Recent progress on Second Amendment legislation in Oklahoma shows how important a single...

Lawmakers in some red states are taking preemptive actions to protect the Second Amendment for their constituents.States Bracing for Biden Gun Bans 2nd Amendment

States Bracing for Biden Gun Bans

Mark Chesnut - January 26, 2021

Lawmakers in some red states are taking preemptive actions to protect the Second Amendment for...

See More 2nd Amendment

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now