State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie (Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)
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The anti-gun industry has been trying to find a way around the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms act for years now. The PLCAA became law back in 2005 with bipartisan support for very good reason. The concept behind the law was simple and straightforward; a gun maker shouldn’t be held liable for criminal misuse of a firearm they legally made and sold.

That’s just common sense, right? If a gun maker produces and sells a handgun that’s sold through all of the normal distribution channels — including, of course, a GCA-mandated NICS background check and form 4473 for the retail buyer — they shouldn’t be put in legal jeopardy if that gun is later lost, stolen, misused or otherwise ends up resulting in death or injury.

Anheuser-Busch isn’t liable for drunk driving accidents any more than Kershaw is responsible if someone uses one of their pocket knives to stick up a liquor store.

The PLCAA doesn’t exempt gun makers for liability if they produce faulty products. Joe Biden lied through his too-white false teeth earlier this year when he claimed gun makers are . . .

The only industry in America — a billion dollar industry — that can’t be sued, has exempt from being sued, are gun manufacturers. … This is the only outfit that is exempt from being sued. 

Just like any other manufacturer, firearms manufacturers can and have been sued if they make faulty products. Ask Remington how they know.

Despite the plain language of the PLCAA, oleaginous plaintiffs attorneys, frequently backed by Everytown’s, Brady’s, or Giffords’ well-funded legal assets, have sued gun makers using novel theories of liability in an attempt to skirt the PLCAA and take a big financial bite out of a gun maker or retailers.

Everytown sued Lucky Gunner after ammo the online company legally sold was used in a school shooting. Brady has sued a variety of retailers after legally sold firearms were later used in the commission of crimes (see here, here, here, and here).

None of the suits that attacked the PLCAA have been successful. But particularly for smaller retailers, the process is the punishment. Gun control org-backed suits against them still need to be responded to and sometimes defended. That costs time and money. It’s lawfare plain and simple.

Not every anti-gun suit has been unsuccessful, however. The most prominent of which is the lawsuit brought by parents and survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting against Remington, makers of the Bushmaster rifle used in that shooting. While the rifle was legally produced and sold, the plaintiffs have argued that Bushmaster’s ads for the rifle were deceptive and violated Connecticut’s unfair trade practices act in that advertising for the firearm used was deceptive.

In 2019, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the plaintiffs’ suit could go forward and last year, the US Supreme Court refused to block it.

Now, however the firearms industry has a new legal threat looming and it’s coming from the state of New York. As the NSSF’s Larry Keane wrote here earlier, a New York Senator from Brooklyn has taken the general idea behind the Sandy Hook lawsuit and written a law around it.

One provision of Sen. [Zellnor] Myrie’s proposal broadens the scope of New York’s “public nuisance law” to include “the sale or manufacture of products that endanger people’s health and safety.”

A former law professor and litigation attorney, Victor Schwarz, took to the pages of the New York Daily News today to explain just how dangerous this kind of law would be.

The legislation would impose liability against firearm manufacturers and sellers, or any other firearm industry entity, based on vague claims they contributed to the public nuisance of illegal firearm violence, for example sweeping assertions they failed to prevent individuals from unlawfully possessing a firearm in New York. Intervening acts, such as a criminal or other person misusing the firearm to kill or injure someone, would essentially become immaterial for liability purposes. Legal norms that have existed for centuries for who is said to be the cause of an injury and for who must pay compensation would be eviscerated.

Consider how radical this new law would be if adopted in the context of any other product. It is the equivalent of subjecting a knife manufacturer to liability where a stabbing occurs because it is foreseeable that some individuals will misuse a knife to kill or injure others. It would also be akin to declaring drunk driving a “public nuisance” for which car manufacturers may be sued by anyone because the manufacturers sold vehicles knowing that more than 10,000 people die every year in drunk driving accidents.

The problem is, under this law, virtually anyone could sue a gun maker under the state’s nuisance law because the mere threat of “gun violence” makes them feel uncomfortable.

[T]he new law would declare illegal firearm violence a “public nuisance” for which any person may sue a firearm manufacturer or seller for alleged harm. In theory, a claim could be based on a shooting perpetrated by a criminal with no connection whatsoever to the firearm manufacturer or seller, or even for alleged injury in the absence of a shooting where someone feels apprehensive about walking around outside due to violence in the community.

And that’s not all. The law would, in effect, allow New York judges to regulate gun makers in other states as a result of guns already sold in the Empire State.

Additionally, through this bill, New York is seeking to regulate firearm industry activities that occur in interstate commerce outside New York while permitting crushing liability for lawful commerce occurring in New York. Adopting a state law with such proposed national applications raises serious constitutional issues, especially where Congress has already enacted a law to prevent that result.

Regardless of the tactics employed, New York’s proposal is an affront to basic principles of liability law. State lawmakers should focus on common-sense laws to curb violence in communities, not distort our statutes in an effort to destroy a lawful industry whose products are used responsibly by millions of Americans.

As if the New York legislature has any interest in doing that.

The bad news is the bill has been passed by the New York legislature and will soon be on Andrew Cuomo’s desk. Does anyone think Governor Nipplerings won’t fall all over himself to sign it?

This thing is ripe for a court challenge, but it’s been cleverly constructed from a legal standpoint to make that difficult. We talked to Alan Gottlieb at the Second Amendment Foundation who tells us that their attorneys are looking at the bill for a way to attack it once the lawsuits begin to fly.

The NSSF has called this law a potential existential threat to gun makers if it’s allowed to stand. This is one to keep your eye on because it’s going to present a serious headache for gun manufacturers, not only those based in New York, but those that sell their products in the state, too.

 

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71 COMMENTS

    • From the article:

      “If a gun maker produces and sells a handgun that’s sold through all of the normal distribution channels — including, of course, a GCA-mandated NICS background check and form 4473 for the retail buyer — they shouldn’t be put in legal jeopardy if that gun is later lost, stolen, misused or otherwise ends up resulting in death or injury.”

      I live in Kommifornia where politicians who support the Constitution are like unicorns, so I don’t know the answer to this, but aren’t there states and jurisdictions in which a CCW/CHL holder doesn’t need to go through the “of course” NICS when buying a new gun?

      I really do hate reading “of course” statements that support infringements and act like BGCs are something we should all support. Because of course.

      • Yes, Texas for one. Some of the others have changed recently so I don’t have an up to date list. I’m also not clear on qualifies a state for this practice. However the people in those states with a CCW/CHL/LTCF did go through a NICS check, and possibly also a state level check to get their permission slip anyway. And they still have to fill out a 4473. It just saves them the wait while the dealer calls it in.

    • Can other states sue NYC for creating a “public nuisance” for not controlling the actions of organized crime?

    • well,..they never stop trying…no matter how illogical or far-reaching in its impact….these guys are really desperate…

      • “these guys are really desperate”

        no, it’s just their religion. they see their millennium, where the divine decree that they own everything and everyone finally comes true, in reach and they’re reaching for it.

  1. I think that it should be used to sue Soros funded prosecutors and perhaps used to sue corrupt PDs who abuse “may issue” carry permits.

  2. This will set a precedent to all manfactured items in .NYS and allow any product lianle to litigation.

    These manufacturers will abandon .NYS for greener pastures.

    The state will eventially be bankrupt and jonless.

    What a moronic law, proposed and passed without any thought of its impact.

    • Every other state should tell NY to pound sand. “NY lawsuits and decisions have no bearing on companies located in our state. Fees, fines and judgements against them are null and void.”

    • “without any thought of its impact”

      oh no, no no no, they’ve thought about it heavily and the law was written by professionals with highly specific goals in mind. they know exactly what they’re doing.

      “These manufacturers will abandon .NYS”

      incorrect. the manufacturers that these guys don’t own and control will depart, leaving these guys with an absolute untouchable monopoly on all politics, law, money, employment, and resources in the entire state. they know EXACTLY what they’re doing.

  3. Lawyers…..

    IIRC, the SC cannot review a law where standing is absent; i.e. injury must be identifiable and quantifiable. N’est-ce pas?

  4. Well one of my favorite gunshop’s(Westforth in rural Gary,IN) is under intense pressure(& false “news” reporting)from Groot & Co in Chiraq. I’ve seen a bunch of black folks fail a background check. Chucks gunshop does the same. Clientele dontchaknow. Funny that a city called New York thinks criminals obey the law😏

    • Groot has to deflect her incompetence onto someone.
      “All of the guns used in crimes are coming in from Indiana”.
      Before that it was Chucks in Riverdale and Midwest Guns in Lyons.
      Pedophile priest Pfleger sued both of them and it eventually got tossed.
      Pfleger also threatened to have John Riggio killed who is the owner of Chucks.
      The bar in Chicago is set pretty low for most things.

  5. We are fast approaching the point when lawyers and judges will no longer be relevant to society. And society will do what it has always done when push comes to shove. The corruption and tyranny will be swept away.

  6. Reverse this on them. Sue all the states with legal pot under the context that it endangers the health and safety of the people.

    Then sue the states that defunded the police under the same thing.

    This is a whole can of worms that could put every single company and items they sell as being that it endangers the health and safety of people. Hot dogs won’t even be safe, how many die each year choking on hot dogs.

  7. Don’t manufacture or sell firearms in New York. If NYPD or NYSP et. al. need new firearms let them buy bows and arrows instead.

    • Isn’t Slo Joe going to give Putin a firm “talkin to”? Same should work in NYC for the progs and the thugs. Don’t need no honky jails, bail, courts. Da b putting da brothers donn.

    • Wait until BLM hears about this. Nobody will dare sell a NY police agency a firearm because it might make any random black person in NY nervous.

  8. Mountains of shameful, overwhelming evidense shows Gun Control is deeply rooted in racism and genocide. And that makes sue happy Gun Control zealots RACISTS and NAZIS.

    • http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/GCA_68.htm

      There was a guy in Illinois who used to post how Senator Thomas J. Dodd, now deceased, personally owned a copy of the original German text of the Nazi Weapons Law. (The ’Reichsgesetzblatt’)
      He spoke fluent German and his role at the Nuremberg trials had nothing to do with Nazi gun control.
      Anyway when I had dial up 20 years ago I came across this guys website.
      On his website he comparisons of the GCA ’68 and the ’Reichsgesetzblatt’.
      Many parts of the GCA ’68 were the exact same wording as the Nazi Weapons Law.
      I mean it was verbatim and has long since been off of the internet.
      I’m sure the guys comparisons are in that book.

      “The parallels between the Nazi law and GCA ’68 will leap at you from the page. For example, law abiding firearm owners in Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey must carry identification cards based on formats from the Nazi Weapons Law.”

      “The 1938 Nazi Weapons Law that disarmed, enslaved & murdered the men above, is alive and well in the United States, and is called, “The Gun Control act of 1968”, and is enforced by the modern day Gestapo, known as the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE).”

      I’m not trying to sell books, I’m not even a member of JPFO.
      Actually I’m not even Jewish but I’ll never forget seeing EXACT paragraphs side by side.
      One taken from the GCA ’68 and the other from the Nazi Weapons Law.

      Also Thomas J. Dodd was pals with Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.
      “In 1967, Daley pushed for a state law requiring the registration of all guns. His bill was defeated. The Illinois General Assembly approved a Republican compromise. It was supported by the National Rifle Association and Illinois State Rifle Association. Instead of registering every gun, the state registered gun owners. It was the Firearm Owners Identification Card.”

      https://www.wbez.org/stories/evolution-of-chicagos-handgun-ban/45ff5575-5c03-4379-b0ee-4657969b5297

      “Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley continued pushing for gun control. In 1972, he testified at Congress and called for a national ban on handguns. Here’s some of his testimony, re-enacted by Neil Giuntoli:

      DALEY/GIUNTOLI: As far as I’m concerned, the only purpose of a handgun in unauthorized hands is to kill … The handgun makes no positive contribution to our society. It kills — whether by accident or on purpose.

      “When Daley died in 1976, his hopes for gun laws remained unfulfilled. Four years later, another series of violent events prompted more calls for gun control.”

      “Amid the growing concern, the suburb of Morton Grove outlawed handguns. In early 1982, Mayor Byrne urged the Chicago City Council to prohibit all new handguns.

      BYRNE: There are human beings all over this city that tonight, tonight, may innocently be shot by a criminal with a nonregistered gun, who will get away with it. And are we to sit and say, because nobody did it before, we won’t do it now? The city is too important, and its people are too important.

      The City Council debated the ordinance on March 19, 1982. Aldermen Richard Mell and Marian Humes spoke out against it.

      HUMES: This is a con game that’s being run here, that’s all it is.

      Aldermen Timothy Evans and Edward Burke supported the ban.

      BURKE: What it does do, hopefully, is put a freeze on the number of handguns that are presently opened by people in the city of Chicago.

      The City Council approved the ordinance by a vote of thirty to eleven. And what‘s been the result? NRA Lawyer Stephen Halbrook says it hasn’t had any effect on crime.

      HALBROOK: I think it’s made it impossible for law-abiding citizens to have handguns to protect their families in their own homes.”

      In 2010, the ban was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, and in 2013, Illinois became the last state in the nation to approve concealed carry.

      Debbie is correct.

        • That’s OK, I read Anti 2A bills that are 200 pages long.
          I do that so I can figure the best way they can be defeated in court.
          Yes it’s boring but it pays to know thy enemy and their weaknesses.
          I’ll sum it up for you in a CliffsNotes version : “The Gun Control act of 1968” was taken pretty much directly from “The 1938 Nazi Weapons Law”.
          A lot of it word for word and paragraph to paragraph.
          The modern BATFE is pretty much the same as the Nazis Gestapo.
          Instead of disarming Jews, they want to disarm the United States.

  9. All gun and ammo manufactures should stop selling to police in states with unconstitutional gun laws and those who persecute legal gun owners. This is exactly what Barrett did in CA, but others did not join.

  10. Just require criminals to have insurance.
    Not that it would pay out even if they did but it’s fun to play stupid.
    Look at me I’m a lefty!! Weeeeeeeee!!!!!

  11. NO government arms control is legal or constitutional!
    Regarding the governments ability to impose “Reasonable Restraint”, the mantra of our liberal influenced government.
    *Supporters of the Bill of Rights claim they have constitutional rights.
    *Opponents counter even if it were the case, the government was granted the general power to place restraints on those rights.
    **Both of these assertions are based on a misconception concerning the intent of the document known as the Bill of Rights.
    When the Bill of Rights was submitted to the individual States for ratification, it was prefaced with a preamble. As stated in the preamble, the purpose of the Amendments was to prevent the government from “misconstruing or abusing its powers.” To accomplish this, “further declaratory and restrictive clauses” were being recommended. The Amendments, when adopted, did not create any so-called constitutional rights or grant the government any power over individual rights; they placed additional restraints and qualifications on the powers of the government concerning the rights enumerated in the Amendments.
    By advancing the myth that Amendments grant the American people their individual rights, the government has illegally converted enumerated restraints and qualifications on its power into legislative, executive, judicial and administrative power over individual rights. The government claims it was granted the constitutional authority to determine the extent of the individual rights enumerated in the Amendments and/or impose “reasonable restraints” on those rights. This assertion is absurd. The government does not have the constitutional authority to ignore, circumvent, modify, negate or remove constitutional restraints placed on its power by the Amendments or convert them into a power over the individual right enumerated in the particular restraint.
    A denial of power or an enumerated restraint on the exercise of power is not subject to interpretation or modification by the entity the restraint is being imposed upon. The restraints imposed by the Amendments, which were adopted 4 years after the Constitution was ratified, override the legislative, executive, judicial or administrative powers of the government. If this were not the case, then the restraints would be meaningless because the government could simply circumvent, modify or remove them. Why would the States have requested and adopted enumerated restraints on government power, subsequent to their ratification of the Constitution, if the government possessed the authority to nullify them?
    When the government infringes on one of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights it is not violating anyone’s constitutional rights; it is violating the additional restraint or qualification placed on its power by the particular Amendment where the right is enumerated. The distinction between rights and restraints is critical. [The right is not given by the Government. Our rights are given by God and are inalienable. Therefore, they can’t be limited or taken away.]
    As stated in the Declaration of Independence, the American people have unalienable rights that come from a higher source than government or a written document. By acknowledging people have natural rights, which are bestowed by a creator, the Founders laid the foundation for the principle the government does not have the lawful authority to take away or infringe on those rights. This principle was incorporated into the preamble and structure of the Amendments to secure individual rights from government encroachment; that is why they were designed and imposed as restraints on the exercise of power.
    If the individual rights of the people had been created by the Constitution or an amendment to the document, then they would cease to be unalienable because the right would depend on the existence of a document. If the document or a provision of the document disappeared, so would the right. The belief individual rights were created by a written document has opened the door for the government to claim the power to define the extent of any right enumerated in an Amendment. This has transformed constitutional restraints placed on governmental power into subjective determinations of individual rights by the institutions of government. By failing to understand the difference between amendments that create rights and amendments that impose restraints on government, the American people are watching their individual rights vanish as they are reduced to the status of privileges bestowed by government because the constitutional restraints placed on governmental power are being replaced by government decree.
    Opponents of the Amendments always try to diminish the right enumerated in the Amendments by asserting rights are not absolute. This is just another straw man argument because the Amendment is about imposing a restraint of the powers of the government concerning a right: not granting a right or defining the extent of a right. In addition, a review of the Second Amendment shows the restraint imposed by the Amendment does not obtain any exceptions.
    Legal precedence supporting constitution and bill of rights.
    Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137: “The Constitution of these United States is the supreme law of the land. Any law that is repugnant to the Constitution is null and void of law.”
    Murdock v. Penn., 319 US 105: “No state shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and attach a fee to it.”
    Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham, 373 US 262: “If the state converts a liberty into a privilege, the citizen can engage in the right with impunity.”
    Owen v. Independence, 100 S.C.T. 1398, 445 US 622: “Officers of the court have no immunity, when violating a Constitutional right, from liability. For they are deemed to know the law.”
    Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 1974: Expounds upon Owen Byers v. U.S., 273 U.S. 28 Unlawful search and seizure. Your rights must be interpreted in favor of the citizen.
    Boyd v. U.S., 116 U.S. 616: “The court is to protect against any encroachment of Constitutionally secured liberties.”
    Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436: “Where rights secured (Affirmed) by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation, which would abrogate them.”
    Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425: “An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed.”
    Miller v. U.S., 230 F.2d. 486, 489: “The claim and exercise of a Constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    Brady v. U.S., 397 U.S. 742, 748: “Waivers of Constitutional Rights, not only must they be voluntary, they must be knowingly intelligent acts done with sufficient awareness.” “If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being a gift of ALMIGHTY GOD, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave.” —Samuel Adams, 1772
    Cohens v. Virginia, 19 US (6 Wheat) 264, 404, 5 L.Ed 257 (1821): “When a judge acts where he or she does not have jurisdiction to act, the judge is engaged in an act or acts of treason.”
    Mattox v. U.S., 156 US 237, 243: “We are bound to interpret the Constitution in the light of the law as it existed at the time it was adopted.”
    S. Carolina v. U.S., 199 U.S. 437, 448 (1905): “The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when it was adopted, it means now.”
    Repeated Supreme Court rulings which have Incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

  12. If it was me I’d say fine, you dont want my money on taxes and what not, I’m leaving because I’m not going g broke trying to stay.
    The big apple is rotten, and one bad apple spoils the bunch.

  13. Well I get nervous crossing the street, so watch out GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, etc. I plan on turning this phobia into my lottery ticket.

  14. Things that could affect the “health and safety.” So if the legalize marijuana, that would fall into that category also, right?

  15. So….

    Remove all guns, automobiles, carbon, human males, white people, conservatives, religion, any mention of Trump in American history, hunting, logging, mining, any ideas anyone might have of gender, cigarettes, any trace of human development…..

    What a seriously depressing world liberals want to make!

    What would compel anyone to want to live?

  16. We know this attempt at legislation is meant to gain the creator(s) political points and to harass the gun industry. If one tries to apply consistency to this (potential) code then various federal, state, and local governments could be held liable. Various U.S. government agencies partake in the various activities mentioned in this proposal. The CMP sells guns. Cop trade-in guns are sold frequently across America. And why limit it to America? Various foreign governments would get caught in the net of this proposal.

    If an NYPD officer made a dirty shoot, one should be able to sue the NYPD as it was the NYPD that gave the cop the gun used in a crime a.k.a. “distribution”.

  17. New York State has become a dictatorial state with in the US and is attempting to cast its beliefs and influence over all the others.
    As dictatorships go NY State is a basket case led by the Court Jester.
    We need a few States to stand up and close their borders to all NY State manufactured goods and any on hand should be returned with a bill for their cost along with a court date in the suing state for ineffective products.

  18. Totally insane. By the wording they use by broadening the scope of the nuisance law, that means ANYTHING can be named, bats, cars, knives, hoola-hoops. Since it specifically mentions the threat of an object, if you threaten someone with a pie or a snow cone are they going to stop making those. Complete idiots is what is in charge and until they are removed from office permanently, all sorts of stupid stuff will keep being put in the law books.

    • “By the wording they use by broadening the scope of the nuisance law, that means ANYTHING can be named, bats, cars, knives, hoola-hoops”

      yes. that’s the intent. it allows selective prosecutions as they see fit. “who owns that business?” “one of ours.” “ok, leave him alone. how ’bout the other one?” “oh, that guy is on our COL.” “ok, sue him.”

  19. So.. what they are saying if someone comes into a convenience 🏪 store marked with a “gun-free” killing zone sign.. and shoots it up..
    And they can prove the shooter was looking for such an area.. like the Batman movie shooter. The sign maker can be sued down past their shorts.

  20. “Joe Biden lied through his too-white false teeth earlier this year when he claimed gun makers are . . . ‘The only industry in America — a billion dollar industry — that can’t be sued, has exempt from being sued, are gun manufacturers. … This is the only outfit that is exempt from being sued.'”

    that’s not a lie. you have to understand these people. when he says, “can’t be sued” you think he means in general. but he doesn’t. what he means is “is beyond our control and can’t be sued by us the way we want”. and he’s absolutely right about that.

  21. 3 minutes after this becomes law, start the law suits. All those things used to kill more often than semi-automatic rifles (I assume that is what they’ll be going after). Sue knife makers, bat makers, people with hands and feet. Sue them all. Mutually Assured Destruction!

  22. Guns don’t Kill, it is very, very rare for a gun to be Extracted from a victims body, and be designated as the cause of their death …Bullets Kill, a firearm manufacturers product used as designed, promoted and intended does not kill people, an unloaded firearm, is no more dangerous then a paper weight. I challenge anyone to cause harm and damage to persons, solely with the product Gun makers make, without using it as a club. In order to use a gun to injure people, you must insert an explosive projectile in it (bullet), point it at a person( which manufacturers warn owners never to do), and pull the firing mechanism, which the shooter has to initiate with a consciousness of purpose, which product manufacturers warn against, and laws prohibit. To hold gun makers liable for injuries caused by the miss use or illegal use of their product, in violation of Law and safe handling instructions, is beyond the scope of their ability to control, or anticipate, because the mental capacity, intent and phycological state of the gun owner can not be foretold or predicted, as the State which issued the legal authority(License – Background Check) to purchase and own the gun, could not divine, or be held liable for…its miss use either. Guns like automobiles, should not have any greater liability, because both requires operators error, or miss use to make them dangerous or lethal.

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