Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Key Talking Points on S. 659/S. 1805

Friday, July 25, 2003

Support for the Bill

  • This reasonable and sensible legislation enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support, with 54 cosponsors, including 10 democrats. It passed the House of Representatives by a better than 2 to 1 margin of 285-140, and is supported by President Bush.

“Unique” or “Unprecedented Special Protection” for the Gun Industry?

  • Congress enacts liability protections every year for specific industries or other organizations.

  • Past liability immunity protections have been enacted for the light aircraft industry, community health centers, aviation industry, medical implant makers, Amtrak, computer industry members affected by “Y2K” problems, and others.

“Blanket” Immunity for the Gun Industry?

  • The bill is narrowly tailored. S. 659/S. 1805 provides protection only against lawsuits based on the criminal or unlawful acts of third parties—not on their own negligent or criminal conduct. Under the bill, manufacturers or sellers must operate entirely within federal and state law.
  • The bill allows suits based on violations of federal or state law, or on traditional grounds such as negligent entrustment, breach of contract or normal product liability cases involving actual injuries caused by an improperly functioning firearm.

Manufacturers and Dealers Act Legally and Responsibly

  • The manufacture and sale of firearms are regulated by hundreds of pages of statutes and regulations. All gun manufacturers, importers and dealers are licensed by the federal government and such licenses can be revoked for violations.

  • The industry has voluntary programs to promote safe gun storage and to help dealers avoid sales to potential illegal traffickers. In voluntarily seeking dismissal of its own lawsuit, the city of Boston stated, “The City acknowledges that the members of the industry and firearms trade associations are genuinely concerned with and are committed to, the safe, legal and responsible sale and use of their products.” The city went on to praise several of the firearms industry’s voluntary programs.

  • All retail gun sales are subject to a federal criminal background check—either directly by the FBI through its National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) or through state systems that also use NICS. All retail gun buyers are screened to the best of the government’s ability.

  • Manufacturers have a time-honored tradition of acting responsibly to issue recalls and make repairs as they become aware of defects.

33 States Have Acted to Prevent These Lawsuits

  • 33 state legislatures have acted to block similar lawsuits—either by limiting the power of localities to file suit, or by amending state product liability laws.

Legislation Protects Vital National Interests

  • The gun industry manufactures firearms for America’s military forces and law enforcement agencies.
  • Unlike many foreign countries, the U.S. doesn’t have a government armory but relies on private industry. Due in part to federal purchasing rules, these guns are made in the U.S. by American workers. Successful lawsuits could leave the U.S. at the mercy of foreign small arms suppliers.

S. 659/S. 1805 is a Legitimate Exercise of Federal Power

  • In many of these lawsuits, cities and individuals are trying to use State courts to restrict the conduct of the firearms industry nationally—often contrary to State policies expressed through their legislatures.

  • Those efforts threaten an unreasonable state burden on interstate commerce. The federal government may act to prevent imposition of that burden.

Lawsuits Hurt Consumers and Workers

  • By restricting the industry’s ability to make and sell guns and ammunition, the lawsuits threaten the ability of Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

  • By threatening the survival of the industry, the lawsuits threaten thousands of jobs. Labor unions representing workers at major firearms plants support S. 659/S. 1805.

For more information see our Fact Sheet

or Reckless Lawsuits in the Research Library

TRENDING NOW
Shoddy Science and Shaky Assumptions: Court Invalidates California’s Handgun Ad Ban on First Amendment Grounds

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

Shoddy Science and Shaky Assumptions: Court Invalidates California’s Handgun Ad Ban on First Amendment Grounds

Earlier this month, a federal court invalidated California’s ban on premises advertising relating to handguns (but not other firearms), disparaging the state’s proffered justification for the law as nothing more than “mere speculation and conjecture.” 

New Industry Statistics Underscore Popularity of “America’s Rifle”

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

New Industry Statistics Underscore Popularity of “America’s Rifle”

Senator Dianne Feinstein has spent the last 26 years pushing gun control at the federal level and earlier this month demonstrated her willingness to distort facts and Supreme Court precedent in her ongoing effort to ...

Gun Control Twist: Saving One Life “Does Not Justify” Right-to-Carry

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

Gun Control Twist: Saving One Life “Does Not Justify” Right-to-Carry

Gun control advocates often use some version of the phrase “if it saves one life” in order to justify their ineffective proposals. This week, the anti-gun editorial page of the Chicago Sun-Times offered a different ...

Bloomberg Presidential Run? Maybe. Bloomberg Effort to Buy the Midterms? Definitely.

News  

Friday, September 21, 2018

Bloomberg Presidential Run? Maybe. Bloomberg Effort to Buy the Midterms? Definitely.

Billionaire gun control financier and former-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is once again floating a presidential run.

Pennsylvania: Potential for Gun Control as Legislators Come Back to Harrisburg

Monday, September 24, 2018

Pennsylvania: Potential for Gun Control as Legislators Come Back to Harrisburg

This week, with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives coming back from their summer break, it is possible that House Bill 2227 may be up for a vote.  HB 2227 would allow the seizure of firearms with little or no access to due ...

Outrageous! NC University Forces Student to Remove NRA Flag from Dorm Window

News  

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Outrageous! NC University Forces Student to Remove NRA Flag from Dorm Window

Elon University student forced to remove NRA banner from his dorm room window.

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Monday, September 17, 2018

Florida Alert! Galvano Committee Gets $200K from ‘EVERYTOWN’ Group

Incoming Florida Senate President Bill Galvano calls himself a Republican but is rumored to be the one who colluded with anti-gun Democrats to engineer the gun control package included in SB-7026 this past session. SB-7026 ...

Anti-gun Senator Accompanied by “Unprecedented” Security Detail While Traveling in California

News  

Friday, September 14, 2018

Anti-gun Senator Accompanied by “Unprecedented” Security Detail While Traveling in California

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is no fan of the Second Amendment. As California attorney general, she sided with local officials who refused to issue concealed carry permits to qualified, law-abiding applicants unless they could demonstrate an extraordinary ...

Gun Control Activist Urges Canadian Audience to Get Involved in U.S. Politics

News  

Friday, September 14, 2018

Gun Control Activist Urges Canadian Audience to Get Involved in U.S. Politics

For someone who has previously falsely accused the NRA of funneling foreign money into domestic politics, it must be that David Hogg either forgot he was in Canada recently or failed to appreciate that it’s also illegal ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.