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Judge H. Lee Sarokin (courtesy addictionincorporated)

“I have no doubt that some additional legislation, such as background checks, will help stem the tide of this endless gun violence. But the real answer is in repealing existing legislation — the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.” – Retired Federal judge Judge H. Lee Sarokin, End Gun Violence by Repealing, Not Enacting Legislation [via]

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    • Don’t let the retired label lull you into false sense of security. Retired judges are often used as reserve judges so he may still be issuing rulings depending on the situation in his district.

      Better, make a hard copy evidence, screen cap in this case of the puffpo article and any firearm case that ends up in front of him as a reserve judge, use it to try to make him recuse himself or you have a ready made appeal.

      • They call it “senior status”, and it allows them to go back to defend their rulings years later.

        Back in 1981 the Republican Party of New Jersey got nailed for supposedly engaging in “voter suppression of minorities” and signed a consent decree with the Feds, to not pursue any future clams of voter fraud, which was extended to the entire Republican Party. For years, the GOP has tried to get it lifted, and every time, the judge who made the initial ruling came back out of retirement to uphold it. It remains pretty controversial, and while it’s been modified somewhat, It’s still in effect 30 years later.

        From the linked article:
        Since 1982, that Consent Decree has been renewed every year by the original judge, Carter appointee District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise, now 88 years old. Long retired, Debevoise comes back yearly for the sole purpose of renewing his 1982 order for another year.

        In 2012 the case was assigned to a new judge, a young, black leftist Obama appointee, who unsurprisingly, upheld the ruling of the original judge.

        The only way a Federal judge is really, truly retired, is by death or impeachment. The only exception to that is for SCOTUS, for obvious reasons.

        Elections have consequences, that last for decades after the POTUS has left office. This is one of the most important reasons that no Democrat can be elected next November to the White House.

    • We need *more* activist judges, who take seriously their responsibility to defend the Constitution. Almost all have abrogated their chief responsibility, which is to strike down unconstitutional laws. They instead act as if their chief responsibility is to find any excuse, no matter how quibbly and Rube Goldbergish, to let government define its own limits. See 9th and 10th amendments, the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper clause, and countless others for prime examples.

  1. There is at least one other industry that enjoys broad tort protection: Government. Judges in particular.

    • Agreed. Let’s repeal that “qualified immunity” nonsense that cops have while we’re at it. To borrow from the Judge’s HuffPo article, “There is absolutely no incentive for Police to make interactions with the public safer, their decisions more accountable, or to do anything more than shrug their shoulders at each innocent killing (or maiming). Make them pay where they are found to be at fault and the deaths will go down.

    • If this asshat gets his way then a gun manufacturer would be liable, perhaps for decades after the sale, if one of their products is criminally misused. This would be no different than holding a judge liable for a criminal act committed by a felon that received a light sentence. Or holding a car company liable if a drunk gets behind the wheel of his 20 year old car and kills someone.

      The difference is that there isn’t any group of people determined to sue the car companies out of business.

      • “The difference is that there isn’t any group of people determined to sue the car companies out of business.”


        If they pull that repeal off, tens of millions of POTG will initiate class-action lawsuits against those callous, heartless car manufacturers for selling to the public 2,000 pound steel and glass missiles filled with highly flammable fuel that maim and kill innocent lives on a daily basis…

      • Actually, car companies get sued or defective products with great regularity. Remember the Ford Pinto case? Billions of dollars in damages later, ford is still in business. There are legion cases of defective tires, wheels, fans, fan belts, gas tanks, brakes, air bags ad infinatum.

        • Keyword in your rebuff: “defective.” Gun manufacturers are not immune to lawsuits, recalls, etc with respect to defective products/parts. They are only immune to lawsuits regarding use/misuse of their products. No one has tried to sue the manufacturer of the car that the Sandy Hook dude used to get from his first murder to his next, nor the clothing manufacturer for the clothes he was wearing, because it would take a total derp to think that they are in any way responsible for what he did. The same logic holds for the manufacturers of the guns he used, and yet lawsuit HAS been brought against them.

  2. So, just open the door for countless frivolous lawsuits.

    While we’re at it, can a family sue Ford and Jack Daniels after a family member is killed by a drunk driver? No? Doesn’t hardly seem fair does it.

      • And dirty lawyers. And idiots who injure themselves doing stupid things. Tragically, our nation has plenty of both, and we all pay the price for them.

        Here’s the solution: eliminate frivolous lawsuits. Enact a “loser pays” system. Defend the constitution. Fire judges who can’t or won’t recognize the constitution. They would be better suited to picking up garbage on the side of the freeway.

        • “Loser pays” has made sense to me since the first time it was mentioned. Yes, there are flaws, but surely something can be done. For example, a rich person or corporation could respond to each lawsuit with the most outrageously expensive defense they can dream up, the plaintiff seeking 100,000 in damages risks 20 million in “costs” if he loses. Quickly, that entity would never be sued again. But there has to be a way.

        • Umm, Larry, this is standard litigation practice for big corporations. they hire the best attorneys money can buy, who engage in scorched earth tactics that cost the plaintiff hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses. The obfuscate and delay in discovery, and every little thing is a fight costing thousands to bring to the attention of the court for resolution. Very nasty litigation.

  3. Sit down and be quiet. Play golf, shoot hoops, go fishing or whatever. Nobody is interested or wants to hear what you have to say. Regardless how brilliant you think your words to be.

    Just enjoy our paying your lifetime pension and be satisfied with that. More from the likes of you we definitely do not need.

  4. He just gave every lawyer who might come up against him a reason to challenge him and demand he recuse himself and failing that challenge any ruling based on prior prejudicial statements.Clearly it can be a good thing when jerks like this out themselves.

  5. So, we are now seeing them introduce the word “repeal” into the “conversation.” Get people used to hearing it. Get it comfortable.

    Set the stage for the real repeal they are after…the Second Amendment.

    • Well said, I am glad others are seeing this conditioning of the statist Bolshevik, but WE Americans are tolerating it at OUR own peril. I hope and pray for a solution to arise from the ballot box and jury box, otherwise there is only one box left to protect freedom.

      May I add:

      “A really efficient totalitarian state would would be one in which the all powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and school teachers.” Brave New World -Huxley

      Further proof that history repeats itself, if old dead guys keep coming up correct about future societies.

  6. Oh, and what is “this endless gun violence” anyway?

    Did he not get the memo that violence is down and declining?

    And where is “this endless gun violence”? Towns and small cities across the country enjoy low violent crime rates. The only place one could possibly even HOPE to make “endless gun violence” claim hold any water at all is the Utopian Liberal Urban Centers with tight gun ‘control.’

    • “Oh, and what is “this endless gun violence” anyway?”

      They are reaping the ‘instant’ aspect of the internet and its integration into the mass media.

      CNN, Twitter, FakeBook, etc. etc.

      Modern warfare is attack with weapons and tactics, the developing a counter-response.

      We better come up with a counter for this.

    • One example per year could be defined as “endless”. Even if the “gun violence” is a cop shooting a guy with a machete who has just chopped up 30 people. Including children.

  7. Hey judge, you senile old coot: how on earth will background checks stem the tide of “gun violence” when criminals don’t get background checks? And maybe you didn’t hear (or forgot – dementia being what it is) that the #BLM social justice warrior passed a background check?

    Admit it: what you really want to repeal is the Second Amendment. Time to ante up, and stand up for the tyranny you believe in, you disgrace.

  8. My guns have performed according to their design and function safely. If they didn’t I wouldn’t be using them. I have encountered no manufacturing defects. I see no product liability issues with them. That’s also the extent of product liability for all the other products this asshat tool of a judge is comparing to guns.

  9. This asshat retired when he wasn’t allowed by the judiciary to move his chambers from New Jersey to Ranco Santa Fe in California. The judge’s retirement must be better than mine Ranch Santa Fe ranks in the top ten for most expensive zip codes in the country.

  10. Sick of all this.

    The only ‘gun control’ that will have any effect is a broad, nationwide confiscation of handguns, itself requiring the essential destruction of the 2nd amendment as we know it. Anything else is just an incremental infringement that will be followed by the next increment when they inevitably have no measurable result. Even the arguably most successful piece of gun control, the Brady Act that mandated background checks for firearms purchased through a dealer, merely shifted where criminals source their guns.

    I’m tired of know-nothings who honestly believe that half-measures will accomplish anything, and I’m sick to death of the statist disarmists who support them, knowing that it won’t work and will only further their ultimate goal where only ‘important’ people are defended with guns.

  11. Spoken like a true member of the bar. They make their livings suing people, so any law that limits their ability to sue is less money in their pockets. I can’t imaging there are many members of the plaintiffs’ bar who like the PLCAA.

  12. Great! Then we can also repeal his federal marshall security while we are at. . . . ain’t nothing like living like the masses to make the elites think differently

    • Not a student of Sun Tzu are you?

      If the Jews could have read all of the hate that their fellow country inhabitants had towards them, who knows how many Jews could have been saved, or at least got plenty of guns and ammo, and not consented to what was coming.

  13. No! It’s comforting to go to a website like huffpo and see a flood of intelligent pro-gun comments. We need to rule every corner of the WWW they don’t try to lock us out of.

  14. Big buddy of Senator Bill Bradley (remember that clown) and appointed judge by Jimmy Fing Carter, then promoted by Billybob Clinton.
    In a speech in April 1996, presidential candidate Bob Dole cited Sarokin as one of four federal appellate and district judges that Clinton had appointed to the federal courts that Dole had deemed to be liberal activist judges.

    Had a number of wacko opinions overturned.

    On June 5, 1996, Sarokin announced that he would resign outright from the Third Circuit, effective July 31, 1996.[10] Sarokin cited his fear that his opinions from the bench might be used politically. “It is apparent that there are those who have decided to ‘Willie Hortonize’ the Federal judiciary, and that I am to be one of their prime targets,” he wrote in a letter to President Clinton. “In the current political campaign, enforcement of constitutional rights is equated with being soft on crime and indeed, even causing it.”[10]

  15. “..I have no doubt that some additional legislation, such as background checks, will help stem the tide of this endless gun violence.”

    That’s nice dear. Why don’t you go outside and play and leave the rest of the adults alone.

  16. One of the downsides of modern medicine is the fact that these obsolete and self righteous old bastards won’t die. Sure, lets make all of the manufacturers of products responsible for people using them in crimes. Cars, knifes, hammers, screwdrivers, baseball bats, the list goes on.

    While we are at it, lets make prosecutors and judges who plea out violent criminals who later commit murder accessories. Works for me.

    • His rebuttal would be that while these items can be used to kill, that is neither their sole nor primary purpose, but have great utility for their design purposes. Guns have but one design and primary purpose.

      • On a purely philosophical level, I disagree with the assertion that guns are designed to kill. Firearms are designed to launch a projectile at a velocity between 700 and 4000 fps. The relative utility of their application is up the user’s imagination. For example, I have used firearms (and ammunition) on three separate and unrelated applications to punch holes in metal. In all three cases using a firearm was faster and easier than hauling out an extension cord, electric drill, and bits. (One application involved a steel bucket, an underground yellow-jacket hornet nest, sand, and firecrackers!)

        When applied for human behavior, firearms are designed to gain compliance: the person who bears the firearm and “applies” (points) it toward another human wants that other human to comply with the bearer’s demands. Sometimes the bearer is a criminal who wants the other human to hand over something of value. At other times the bearer is a “good guy” who wants the other human being to leave them alone.

        When applied to attacking animals, firearms are designed to SAVE THE LIFE of the bearer. Whether the bearer uses the report of the firearm to scare away an animal or ends up firing a bullet into the animal is immaterial.

        Finally, when applied to targets, firearms are designed to provide recreation. I cannot imagine how many tens of thousands … heck, millions of people purchased shotguns for the one-and-only purpose of shooting clay pigeons. Those people have no intention of killing anything with their shotguns. And most likely all of them will NEVER KILL ANYTHING with their shotguns that they purchased for shooting clay pigeons.

        Thus, to say that firearms are designed to kill is a false premise from the start.

  17. Sounds good to me. Repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act also means repealing the Hughes Amendment which would open the full-auto firearm registry and graciously allows us to purchase newly manufactured full-auto firearms … after paying for our $200 tax stamp of course.

    • That could be a bargain. Somebody told me that paying for the tax for a select-fire weapon allows any bbl length, any overall length, and suppressors all rolled into one. Anybody know if that’s true?

      • A tax stamp for a full-auto rifle may also cover any barrel length. I doubt it covers a suppressor because you could remove the suppressor and use it on another rifle. Unless the suppressor is welded onto the full-auto pistol/carbine/rifle, I believe you would need an additional tax stamp for the suppressor.

  18. Those of us who are into aviation, and old enough to remember, saw how product liability lawsuits decimated the general aviation industry in the 1980’s. Even with the passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, the GA business is a mere shell of its former self. Cessna, Piper, and Beech are barely alive, and in Cessna’s case it’s only because they halted all production propeller driven aircraft except for the C-206 Caravan, and went all in with their bizjets.

    I recall one case of a pilot who bought the farm with a BAC more than twice the limit for driving a car, and a smashed bottle of Jack Daniels in the footwell, and his widow still sued the manufacturer.

    When I started taking flying lessons in ’87, I could rent a C-152 for about $55.00 and hour. Even with GARA, Cessna never produced the 152 again, and neither did Piper, with their Tomohawk, which were the two most popular aircraft for initial pilot training.

    Like cars and airplanes, modern firearms are a collection of parts from various suppliers/manufacturers, especially AR-15’s. Every supplier; Magpul, Tapco, Timney, Giessele, Houge, Pachmyer, all the various barrel makers, etc, would be on the hook.

    Repealing the PLCAA would do just what they want, make acquisition of new stock prohibitively expensive for civilians, and the only companies that would survive would be FN, Beretta, Glock, and S&W, by virtue of their sales to government. The same thing that happened to the prices of pre-Hughes machine guns would occur for all firearms.

    • I remember that time. The suit was over a failure in a 40+ year old Piper, as I recall, the ruling including that the liability was forever, even if the airplane had flown safely every day for the past 100 years. Production effectively ceased. When it resumed, aircraft prices had gone up 1000%. Really stupid.

      • Actually, this is true for any product, if the elements of liability can be established. The plaintiff must be able to show that the product failed as a result of a design defect or a defect in original manufacture at the time the product left the plant. A defect may be simply a “failure to perform as a reasonable consumer would expect” (not surprisingly going by the shorthand of the “consumer expectations test.”) Misuse is a defense. Comparative fault, including negligence and intentional misconduct, is a defense. Product liability was created to make it easier for plaintiffs to sue, but in fact this burden of proof is harder than it seems.

  19. Judges know no more about the place of firearms in Society that a plumber knows about which wine best complements which entree. Opinions are cheap and everyone has 6 or 8.

  20. Retired but not really. Who else can return after retirement and just step in? Wouldn’t he be rusty as would anyone?

    As with all anti-2A’ers they are always certain restricting firearms upon lawful side of citizens will magically affect criminals. On top of this they are confused as to what a Right is and how all laws beyond the 2A infringe on those Rights.

    The old boy needs to shutta uppa his pie hole.

    • Typically, being available for assignment is a requirement for judges who wish to receive their entire retirement pay. This is because there is a far greater caseload than the regular judges can handle. In California, a judge not willing to sit by assignment as a retired judge receives only half his retirement pay, the only exception being illness or infirmity. Since judges retire at full pay, this is a substantial chunk of money to forego.

  21. Well, reasonable men may differ. That’s true. However, an unreasonable man will almost always differ. That is this man.

    No serious and sober assessment of this issue would concur with this man’s view. Not on the facts and not on the philosophy. To argue in favor of further infringements as an effective means of violent crime reduction, one must either actively ignore the data in the historical record, or consciously conceal your statist agenda. That is, you’re either a fool or a foe.

    Well, your (dis)Honor? Which are you?

  22. It is striking that this judge misperceives the true scope of product liability law and the purpose of the act. Products liability imposes liability for defective products that cause injury, and in fact, if your gun blows up in your hand because it was made improperly, you may still sue and recover damages, As such, guns are no different than any other product. The PLCAA changes this not at all. Instead, all that it does it “relieve” manufacturers of liability if their otherwise perfectly made and perfectly functional firearms are used, intentionally or accidentally, to kill another human being, i.e., prevent frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers for the misuse of their products. As one commentator noted above, a vehicle manufacturer is not liable when a drunk driver uses a car or truck and kills someone else, but if the manufacturer installs defective tires on a vehicle that b low out causing a rollover, indeed the manufacturer is liable. Car manufacturers do not have to track their products through dealers to buyers, nor to subsequent purchasers of used vehicles. Although the manufacturer remains liable for defects (much as Remington is liable or its defective rifle triggers), they are not liable for the use of the car. There is no reason at all that firearms manufacturers should be treated differently. An the fact of the matter is that this law was passed precisely because multiple lawsuits were filed against manufacturers seeking to hold them liable for “gun violence” an the billions in damages caused annually by the misuse, both intentionally and accidentally, of firearms.

  23. Very fracking dangerous concept there, even though we’ve all suggested the same thing about the 1986 GCA and anything propping up the capriciously abusive ATF policies. We should be prepared to defend against such misplaced efforts because it threatens us from the supply side again. Product liability litigation is the reason why attorneys have gotten such bad reputations because the court of public opinion blames them for taking Common Sense away from the learning process of growing up. Parents can no longer be bothered by teaching their kids in natural selection, survival skills or how to safely play with everyday items and when the kids put out an eye or choke on smaller parts they ripped off of the toys they destroy, or are injured in some other non-sanctioned use, the parents get all “vengeance is mine” on the manufacturers because they subrogated their responsibility and can’t blame anyone else for their sins of irresponsibility. We pay more for everything because of opportunistic lawyers taking advantage of these tragedies. And the public bought into it. Now we have End User Agreements that no one understands, unfair “mediation” clauses that keep consumers from seeing negligent manufacturers and little recourse when big corporations allow our privacy to be violated. If the repeal of those protections is allowed to go forward, it will mean that far too many politicians have bought into the gun control rhetoric and it will be a major effort to fight this off. Queue another NRA/2AF team-up to go ballistic on this front.

  24. All this stuff makes me so angry. We need to separate the tool from the actor. What if a trained person used a sword to kill the newspeople… what if a chainsaw was used. God forbid, what if an amozonian blowgun with poison darts was used?

    Sue Husquarva! Sue Buck knives! Sue the amazonian blowgun manufacturer!

    What if it were a ball pin hammer or axe handle? Box cutter anyone?

    Evil people will find a way.

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