Protection of Commerce in Arms Act Protects Florida Gun Dealers

June 9, 2016

Gun DealersThe defendants at the gun dealership involved with the sale of the firearm to the Melbourne Mall Shooting case acted lawfully in processing the sale and are protected by the Federal Protection of Lawf

Defendants are protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, 15 U.S.C. § 7901 et seq. (“PLCAA”).

On October 26, 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”), codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-03, became federal law. The PLCAA’s stated primary purpose is:

To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended. Id. § 7901(b)(1).

The PLCAA provides that any “A qualified civil liability action may not be brought in any Federal or State court.” 15 U.S.C. § 7902(a). A “qualified civil liability action” is:

a civil action or proceeding . . . brought by any person against a manufacturer or seller of a [firearm distributed in interstate or foreign commerce] . . . for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, or penalties, or other relief, resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a [firearm distributed in interstate or foreign commerce] by the person or a third party.

15 U.S.C. § 7903 (5) (A).

Congress enacted the PLCAA in response to “[l]awsuits . . . commenced against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms that operate as designed and intended, which seek money damages and other relief for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including criminals.” 15 U.S.C. § 7901(a) (3). Congress found that manufacturers and sellers of firearms “are not, and should not, be liable for the harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse firearm products or ammunition products that function as designed and intended.” Id. § 7901(a) (5). Congress found egregious “[t]he possibility of imposing liability on an entire industry for harm that is solely caused by others.” Id. § 7901(a)(6). The PLCAA provides for six exceptions to the definition of a “qualified civil liability action,” none of which are present in this case. See 15 U.S.C. § 7903(5) (A) (i)-(vi).

More Information: Melbourne Legal Team can help you
Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Status: Answered
Date Filed: 06/09/16

Our Melbourne office is centrally located in Brevard County, enabling our lawyers to serve clients throughout “the Space Coast”, including Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Vero Beach.

  • Status: Resolved