NRA Explore
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
California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Monday, September 26, 2016

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Today, Governor Brown made his decision on the final firearm-related bills of the 2016 legislative session that made it to his desk.   Governor Brown vetoed two anti-gun bills, AB 450 and SB 1332, and signed ...

Not The Victim Hillary Needs

News  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not The Victim Hillary Needs

This feature appears in the October ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association. “Why can’t everyone just have their DNA on file? Then it would ...

California: Referendum Update

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

California: Referendum Update

On behalf of the National Rifle Association (NRA), we would like to thank all of the volunteers and individuals who participated in the Veto Gunmageddon ballot referendum qualification effort.  Despite the tremendous efforts of all involved, ...

Hillary: Contempt For The Truth And American Freedom

News  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hillary: Contempt For The Truth And American Freedom

There is no greater danger to American liberty and to the security of our nation than a Hillary Clinton administration. To see the future if Clinton were to take the White House, look no further ...

Trump: The Official NRA Q&A

News  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trump: The Official NRA Q&A

This year’s race for the White House is like no other in our history. Hillary Clinton has made it clear that, if elected, she will come after our firearm freedoms on her very first day ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

News  

Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

Fairfax, Va.— California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a package of gun bills that were rushed through the state legislature with no regard for proper process. The National Rifle Association Institute for ...

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Show Your Support—NEW NRA Yard Signs Available!

Show your support for NRA and the Second Amendment this election cycle by purchasing an NRA yard sign.  With everything that is at stake this year, including the Presidency, the balance of the U.S. Senate ...

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Virginia Politician and Clinton Backer Brands Trump Supporters as “Mentally Deficient”

With the presidential race tighter than ever as it heads into its final stretch, panicked Hillary Clinton supporters are desperate to find a way to discredit, not just Donald Trump, but anyone who would dare ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.