As we reported in last week`s Grassroots Alert, Senators Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) recently introduced S. 397, "The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act", in the U.S. Senate, joining Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who introduced companion legislation--H.R. 800--in the U.S. House. This critical legislation protects law-abiding firearm manufacturers from reckless, predatory lawsuits.
In 2003, the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" passed the U.S. House of Representatives on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 285-140, enjoyed more than 54 Senate cosponsors, and had the full support of President Bush. Sadly, the legislation was torpedoed in the Senate in 2004 by anti-gun zealots, including former Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), who helped his fellow anti-gun Senators attach a number of anti-gun amendments to the underlying measure.
To date, 33 states have enacted laws to prohibit localities from filing these abusive suits, but that still leaves 17 states and their localities free to bankrupt a lawful, well-regulated industry. As long as gun-ban organizations, big-city mayors, and greedy trial lawyers are allowed to blame the firearm industry for the criminal misuse of its products, the entire industry is at risk of being destroyed. Remember, too, that this is the same industry that provides firearms to our fighting men and women in the U.S. military.
"The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" enjoys support from a number of organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the National Association of Wholesalers. Dozens of national associations, unions, wildlife conservation groups, and shooting sports organizations--representing literally millions of dedicated members, workers, and sportsmen--have expressed their unqualified support for this critically important legislation.
It is imperative that you contact your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative and ask them to cosponsor and support S.397 and H.R. 800--without any anti-gun amendments--and put a halt to these reckless lawsuits once and for all. And be sure to let them know that you consider any votes in support of anti-gun amendments to this legislation as a vote against the underlying bill itself.
To access the most up-to-date information on this issue, please go to the "Stop Reckless Lawsuits Against the Firearm Industry" heading at, www.NRAILA.org, and click the "Take Action" button. This function will allow you to easily send an e-mail or letter to your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators. Please forward this link to your family, friends, and fellow firearm owners.
You can find additional contact information for your elected officials by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or you can call your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121 and your U.S. Representative at (202) 225-3121.