Published: March 9, 2009 WASHINGTON — New York City’s nine-year lawsuit accusing gun makers of flooding illicit markets with their firearms came to an end on Monday, when the Supreme Court refused to consider a lower court’s dismissal of the case. Without comment, the justices decided not to review a ruling by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which declared last April 30 that federal law protected the manufacturers from such suits. The appeals court had overturned a decision by Judge Jack B. Weinstein of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, who ruled in 2005 that the suit could proceed despite protests by such gun makers as Beretta U.S.A., Browning Arms, Colt Manufacturing, Glock and Smith & Wesson. The gun companies complained that a federal law passed just two months earlier shielded them from such suits. The law, formally the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, banned suits against the firearms industry, except when a plaintiff could prove that gun makers had violated state or federal statutes in their sales and marketing practices. In its suit, New York City contended that the gun makers had done just that, by failing to monitor firearms retailers closely enough and thus allowing guns to end up in the hands of criminals. Therefore, the city argued, the manufacturers had created a “condition that negatively affects the public health or safety,” and consequently were in violation of New York State’s public-nuisance law. But the federal appeals court, in the ruling that the Supreme Court declined on Monday to reconsider, said the public-nuisance law did not create an exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that would allow a suit. The lawsuit did not seek monetary damages but, rather, an order directing the gun makers to more closely monitor the dealers who sold their wares — too often to criminals, the city contended. Gun manufacturers have been sued dozens of times by city and state officials across the country, without success. Lawyers for New York City may have been heartened by the fact that one member of the three-judge appeals court panel dissented, arguing that the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest tribunal, should have been asked to decide whether the state public-nuisance law was an exception under the federal law. But that dissent was not enough to persuade the Supreme Court to take a look at the case. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has made gun-trafficking one of his signature issues. In 2006, the city sued 27 gun dealers in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, claiming that their lax screening practices created a public nuisance in New York City. That suit has achieved some victories, with at least two arms dealers being forced out of business.