A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit against gunmaker Glock Inc. and a Seattle gun dealer stemming from a white supremacist’s 1999 shooting rampage at a Los Angeles Jewish center, reports the Associated Press. A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ panel ruled that a 2005 federal law shielding gunmakers from lawsuits over criminal use of their products was constitutional. On Aug. 10, 1999, white supremacist Buford Furrow wounded three children, a teenager and an adult at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. He later killed letter carrier Joseph S. Ileto. Authorities said he was carrying at least seven firearms, which he possessed illegally.
Furrow pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty and is serving five life terms in prison. Relatives of the victims sued Georgia-based Glock Inc., dealer RSR Wholesale Guns Seattle and a Chinese manufacturer, claiming they were liable for negligence. In 2002, the federal court dismissed the lawsuit for failure to state a claim under California law. A year later, a 9th Circuit panel reversed that federal court decision and allowed trial to proceed. Before the case could be argued, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects arms companies from such suits and ordered dismissal of pending claims.