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american lawyer media news service New york-The handgun industry has prevailed in a federal court’s dismissal of a suit that sought to hold it responsible for marketing tactics that facilitate the use of guns in crimes in New York. The federal judge who issued the ruling said evidence presented in a six-week trial established that handgun manufacturers are responsible for the creation of a public nuisance. U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein strongly condemned the industry’s failure to limit handgun sales and thus to control the diversion of guns to criminals. Yet the judge dismissed the suit because, he said, the plaintiff, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), failed to prove another of the essential elements of a public nuisance claim: that it had suffered harm different in kind from that suffered by the public at large. NAACP v. Acusport Inc., No. 99-CV-3999 (E.D.N.Y. June 21, 2003). “[T]he NAACP has demonstrated the great harm done to the New York public by the use and threat of use of illegally available handguns in urban communities,” the judge wrote. “It also has shown that the diversion of large numbers of handguns into the secondary illegal market, and subsequently into dangerous criminal activities, could be substantially reduced through policies voluntarily adopted by manufacturers and distributors of handguns without additional legislation.”

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