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NAACP Case Against the Firearms Industry Dismissed

Monday, July 21, 2003

Washington, DC-- Following the recommendation of a 12 member advisory jury, Judge Jack B. Weinstein ruled today in the Brooklyn Federal courthouse that the NAACP had failed to make its case against law-abiding firearms manufacturers and distributors.

"NRA is pleased that Judge Weinstein followed the common-sense verdict reached by the jury, who agreed that the firearms industry cannot be held accountable for the actions of criminals," said Chris W. Cox, chief lobbyist of the National Rifle Association. "The gun industry is highly regulated and produces quality consumer products for law enforcement, the military and law-abiding Americans. Any argument that firearms companies and distributors cause harm to members of the NAACP is obviously without merit. This is not only a victory for a lawful industry, but for the American legal system that these suits have attempted to exploit."

This blow to the gun-ban movement comes on the heels of the dismissals of numerous other lawsuits that attempt to hold the law-abiding firearms industry accountable for the acts of criminals. Last month, a New York appellate court upheld a lower court`s August, 2001 dismissal of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer`s suit against gun makers, holding that manufacturers of lawful and non-defective products can not be sued for "public nuisance" when a third party misuses the product.

"This lawsuit and others against firearms manufacturers have but one purpose--to bankrupt a legitimate American industry and essentially ban guns in America," added Cox. "Although countless judges around the country have agreed with today`s decision by tossing similar lawsuits, the cost to the firearms industry and law-abiding Americans is excessive. The clear way to end these detrimental suits manipulating our legal system is passage of S. 659, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, common-sense legislation that will block further baseless claims."

The 132 year-old NRA is the nation`s oldest civil rights group, and advocates enforcement of existing laws to prosecute and punish violent criminals. The NRA is the nation`s leader in teaching gun safety and promoting marksmanship among law enforcement officers nationwide. The Association has approximately 4 million members across America.

Read our S. 659 Fact Sheet

Read the National Shooting Sports Foundation Release

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.