|June 16, 2023 – Renzulli Law Firm recently secured a complete dismissal of a lawsuit on behalf of one of its firearm dealer clients in Kansas based on an aggressive defense and calculated use of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Plaintiffs alleged that this Midwest firearms dealer negligently entrusted (sold) a firearm to a customer and violated federal law by completing the transaction knowing that this customer was a straw buyer. Plaintiffs claimed that certain “red flags” were present at the time of the sale that should have been recognized by the retailer. The customer’s adult son used the firearm to murder his father. The Brady Center was co-counsel for the plaintiffs as part of that organization’s ongoing effort to curtail the availability of firearms through litigation.
After full briefing of a motion for summary judgment and oral argument before the court, the court issued a comprehensive and decisive opinion from the bench dismissing all claims brought against RLF’s client. The court held that there was no evidence the dealer knowingly violated any federal or state laws pertaining to the sale of the firearm and that there was no credible evidence to support the claim that the dealer knew or should have known a straw purchase was occurring. As such, the court found that the PLCAA applied to the case and RLF’s client was immune from suit.
The case is an important reminder that the PLCAA is critical to safeguarding the firearms industry from predatory and politically motivated lawsuits aimed to bankrupt the industry. Any efforts by anti-gun politicians to repeal this important and common-sense law should be vigorously opposed.
If you have any questions concerning the defense of cases against federally licensed firearms manufacturers and sellers arising from the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearms by third parties, or any other firearm related litigation, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.