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The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act has shielded the firearms industry from being held liable for harms caused by their wares since it was passed in 2005. Gun reform-minded states have long searched for a way to circumvent the PLCAA — and as The Trace’s Champe Barton reported in August, recent “public nuisance” laws in California, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York created an opening for governments and private citizens to hold gunmakers accountable for violence by allowing lawsuits over improper marketing or sales practices.

Gun groups, led by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, have quickly mounted a multistate challenge to these laws. Second Amendment experts and gun reform advocates told The Washington Post that the NSSF’s approach appears to be a maneuver to get its case to the Supreme Court.

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What to Know Today

The NRA’s top lobbyist, Jason Ouimet, is leaving the gun group after nearly four years in the role. [The Reload] Context: Ouimet’s exit leaves the NRA’s political operation leaderless at a time when the group is seeing steep declines in membership and political donations. — Will Van Sant

Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Arizona, announced that he is “seriously considering” running for U.S. Senate at a gun rights rally in Phoenix. Lamb is an “ardent defender of the Second Amendment” who has said he supports the formation of private militias. [Posse Comitatus/Politico

A Florida Senate committee OK’d a permitless concealed carry bill with provisions intended to improve school safety. The legislation has garnered criticism from gun rights and gun safety advocates alike. [Florida Politics]

Michigan State University resumed classes Monday. Many on campus said they weren’t ready to return. [Detroit Free Press]

Cleveland’s Department of Public Safety decided to remove the names and badge numbers of police officers from internal bulletins on discipline cases, which range from small infractions to serious brutality. The erasure raises new questions about transparency in a police department under federal oversight. [The Marshall Project]

The TSA intercepted a record 6,542 guns at airport checkpoints in 2022. Aside from 2020, when the pandemic disrupted air travel, the number of weapons detected at security checkpoints has climbed every year since 2010. [CBS News]

An Oakland program created to respond to nonviolent, nonemergency 911 calls is going a step further: Responders take to the streets and find people in need of help. They say they’re preventing emergency calls, but law enforcement officials and a citizen advisory board say the group is neglecting its mission. [The Reporter]

Anti-trans violence doesn’t happen in a vacuum, attorney Heron Greenesmith argues. Rather, the movement to demonize trans people hews closely to a script documented in detail almost a decade ago by a prominent researcher. [In These Times]


A Guide to the Gun Industry’s Unique Legal Protections”: The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed in 2005, gave the gun industry what legal scholars refer to as immunity. Here’s what you need to know about it. (January 27, 2020)

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