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A New Jersey state appeals court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit that Newark filed against gun manufacturers and dealers, allowing it and lawsuits brought by other New Jersey cities to proceed to trial. Newark, Camden and Jersey City, N.J., are suing in state court seeking compensation for costs associated with gun violence. Gun control advocates said Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel was significant because it contradicts the legal reasoning of a ruling by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia, which dismissed a federal court lawsuit against gun makers by Camden County. The federal judges accepted the industry’s argument that harm caused by gun violence is “too remote” from the conduct of manufacturers and dealers to warrant damage claims against them. However, the New Jersey court found that under state law it does not seem “highly extraordinary” for Newark to claim that gun manufacturers’ marketing and distribution of firearms fed an illegal secondary gun market that provided weapons to criminals. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun manufacturers’ trade association, said it was considering whether to appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Newark, Camden and Jersey City are among more than 30 cities and counties nationwide that have filed suits against several gun manufacturers and dealers, seeking compensation for law enforcement, medical and other costs they contend result from gun violence. Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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