Posts Tagged ‘Seneca Smokeshop’

The new federal Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act goes into effect today, but last night a federal court granted a temporary restraining order that allows a Seneca Nation mail-order cigarette retailer to to stay in business.

As Patrick Lakamp and Dan Herbeck of the Buffalo News report here:

    District Judge Richard J. Arcara granted the motion as part of the retailer’s lawsuit against the U.S. government. The retailer, Red Earth, which does business as Seneca Smokeshop, has asked the court to declare the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act unconstitutional.

    Seneca Smokeshop, a 10-year-old business, employs 17 people and sells cigarettes in 46 states. It is owned by Aaron J. Pierce, a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

The PACT Act, signed by President Obama in March, bans shipping cigarettes, and also requires those selling them on the Internet to pay all taxes, including tribal taxes.

The restraining order – which applies only to the Seneca Smokeshop and Pierce – is in effect for 14 days.

Tribes have vigorously objected to the PACT Act, claiming it’s unconstitutional and a violation of tribal sovereignty. The PACT Act was supported by smoking foes – but also by big tobacco companies.

Gwen Florio

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