A state appellate court decision reinstating a gun liability lawsuit may be the first in the nation to hold that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act does not preclude—and, in fact, specifically permits—an action where the plaintiff alleges the manufacturer and distributor, as well as the dealer, knowingly violated gun control laws.

Last week’s unanimous decision by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in Williams v. Beemiller, 11-02092, is being touted by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., which brought the appeal, as a game-changing landmark.

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