December 4, 2020
Renzulli Law Firm was successful in convincing the Pennsylvania Superior Court (the state’s intermediate appellate court) to withdraw its prior decision declaring the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”) to be unconstitutional. A September 28, 2020 decision by a three-judge panel had held that Congress did not have the authority to enact the PLCAA pursuant to its power to regulate interstate and international commerce and that the PLCAA violated the Tenth Amendment. The panel’s decision was the first decision by an appellate court to declare the PLCAA to be unconstitutional since the PLCAA was enacted in 2005. The decision was in conflict with numerous appellate court decisions that have held the PLCAA to be constitutional, including the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second and Ninth Circuits, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Courts of Alaska, Illinois, and Missouri.
In response to applications for reargument en banc that Renzulli Law Firm filed on behalf of the defendants, as well as a similar application filed by the United States, the full Superior Court issued a decision yesterday afternoon agreeing to rehear the case. Accordingly, the September 28, 2020 decision by a three-judge panel was formally withdrawn and can no longer be cited as precedent to other courts in support of arguments that the PLCAA is unconstitutional. The appeal will now be heard by a nine-judge panel of the Superior Court.
If you have any questions regarding the PLCAA or the decision from the Pennsylvania Superior Court, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.