Emma Kilroy


In 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”) put a stop to most civil litigation against the firearms industry. In the nineteen years since, victims of gun violence have attempted to bring claims against members of the firearms industry, with varying degrees of success, using an exception to PLCAA known as the predicate exception. Recently, states have begun to pass legislation creating a right of action for plaintiffs to take advantage of the predicate exception. Whether the new legislation will be successful, however, remains to be seen.

This Note examines all of the available cases considering the predicate exception, revealing areas where the current regulatory framework fails plaintiffs and the distinguishing characteristics of successful cases. In light of this analysis, Part III discusses recent state legislation, identifies gaps in the legislation, identifies areas for improvement, and forecasts challenges to the legislation. The Appendix contains a chart organizing the cases that consider the predicate exception by whether they were successful and the predicate statute considered by the court in each case.

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