U.S. Supreme Court pork ruling validates New York gun law, NY attorney general says

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling this week over California pork sales wipes out a challenge to a New York law that expands gun industry liability, according to the New York State Attorney General’s office.

In a letter on Thursday to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, New York Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dennis Fan said the high court’s ruling upholding a California law banning the in-state sale of pork from pigs kept in inhumane conditions directly undermines claims in the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s challenge to the New York law.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision written by Justice Neil Gorsuch said, “companies that choose to sell products in various States must normally comply with the laws of those various States.”

The 2nd Circuit is weighing the constitutionality of New York’s law, which allows civil suits against gun dealers and manufacturers if a gun used in a shooting was improperly marketed or sold.

The challenge, brought by the gun industry group and several gunmakers against the state of New York, argues in part that the New York law unfairly burdens the gun industry in other states by regulating gun sales and marketing anywhere in the country if it ends up having an impact in New York.

Lawrence Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the pork case has nothing to do with the New York law.

“California was regulating the sale of pork inside California to consumers in California,” Keane said. “New York’s law is regulating the sale of firearms to consumers outside of the state of New York.”

The New York State Attorney General’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

New York’s law, considered the first of its kind in the country, is meant to circumvent a federal law that bars most litigation against the gun industry if its products are misused.

After New York’s passage of its gun liability law in 2021, several states followed with similar laws. California, Delaware and New Jersey passed their laws in 2022, and this year, Colorado, Hawaii and Washington have joined them. Several more states are considering their own bills, with support from gun reform groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords.

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