Case information: City of New York v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., No. 05-6942-cv (2d Cir., submitted July 17, 2006)
At issue: Suit by city against gun manufacturers for practices that feed the illegal gun market. This action was brought by the City of New York against members of the gun industry for sales and distribution practices that feed the illegal gun market. After Congress enacted the federal gun industry immunity law, defendants moved to dismiss the case. In City of New York v. Beretta U.S.A. Corp., 401 F. Supp. 2d 244 (E.D.N.Y. 2005), the district court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss, holding that the suit was permitted because the city alleged knowing violations of law within one of the federal immunity law’s exceptions. The court also upheld the law’s constitutionality. Defendants appealed to the Second Circuit and the City of New York cross-appealed on the constitutional issues.
Law Center’s Brief: Our brief argues that the federal immunity law is unconstitutional because it violates the separation of powers by commanding the dismissal of court cases. Further, the brief claims that the statute is an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power because it is irrational special interest legislation that does not further a legitimate government interest.