Thu, 30 Mar 2023

TRENTON, New Jersey: A federal judge has blocked a New Jersey law allowing the state's attorney-general to sue gun manufacturers and sellers for endangering public safety.

US District Judge Zahid Quraishi in Trenton, New Jersey, ruled that the new law did not comply with a federal law protecting the gun industry, and that the law cannot be enforced while the court considers a legal challenge by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry group.

The judgment comes one day after a different judge struck down parts of a separate gun control measure in New Jersey.

A spokesperson for New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he was disappointed and confident the order would be reversed on appeal.

The recently blocked law, which was passed last June after a US Supreme Court ruling expanding gun rights, allows the state attorney-general to bring lawsuits accusing gun manufactures and sellers of creating a "public nuisance" that endangers health and safety.

However, according to Quraishi, it was in "direct conflict" with the federal law that protects gun makers and sellers from being sued over crimes committed with legally-sold guns, known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is also challenging similar laws in Delaware and in New York, where it lost its initial bid to block enforcement.

After mass shootings in Texas and New York that killed more than 30 people, including 19 children at an elementary school in June, Democratic President Joe Biden signed the first bipartisan national gun safety bill passed in 30 years.

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