Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Protecting our Rights and our Local Gun Makers by U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD)

Monday, October 17, 2005

By U.S. Senator John Thune

Firearms are a valued part of the culture and fabric of South Dakota. Each year, South Dakota issues well over 120,000 resident hunting licenses, and nearly 100,000 nonresident hunters visit our state each year to support our tourism and hunting industry.

Unfortunately, the centuries-old firearms industry has come under attack by activists who seek to unjustly hold law-abiding gun manufacturers responsible for the actions of violent criminals. Since 1998, almost 40 lawsuits have been filed against the firearms industry for allegedly harming others through the production and distribution of firearms. While none of these lawsuits have yet resulted in an adverse decision, the lengthy litigation process is forcing the industry to pay enormous legal bills to defend themselves.

South Dakotans have long seen the logic and importance in protecting gun manufacturers against these types of frivolous lawsuits. Our state was the first state in the Union to pass liability protection legislation for firearms manufacturers, and now the U.S. Senate has followed suit, having recently passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a bill I cosponsored, which would provide liability protection to law-abiding gunmakers and retailers throughout the nation.

Passage of this bill was a tremendous victory for America's firearms manufacturers, retailers and owners. Not since enactment of 1986's Firearms Owners' Protection Act have we seen such a significant legislative step toward restoring the rule of law and protecting the Second Amendment.

Frivolous lawsuits pose a serious threat to a cornerstone industry in our state. With 22 firearms companies based in South Dakota providing more than 500 South Dakota citizens with quality jobs, the firearms industry plays a key role in our state’s economy, and we cannot afford to see it harmed.

Not only does the firearms industry contribute to our economic well-being, it also boosts our national security. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense issued a letter of support urging Congress to pass this important bill. As a critical part of our national security, the federal government purchases 200,000 firearms and 2 billion rounds of ammunition each year. If frivolous lawsuits bankrupt the industry, the United States would be forced to rely on foreign trade to obtain these weapons and ammunition. Placing ourselves in such a position would directly threaten our national security.

Thomas Jefferson made clear that “No free man shall be debarred the use of arms.” The founders of our great country saw the importance of this personal freedom, and guaranteed the right to bear arms in the Bill of Rights. The federal legislation I was proud to cosponsor and support will ensure that our Second Amendment right to use firearms is not undermined by frivolous lawsuits.

The urgency to see this legislation signed into law is now greater than ever. Going against the requests of 12 different states, the Supreme Court recently decided to allow the District of Columbia to sue gun manufacturers for violence in D.C. This decision from the highest court of the land clears the way for a major lawsuit from the nation’s capital—placing the stakes higher than they have ever been. However, if the House passes its version of the liability legislation and sends it to the President in time, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act could void this frivolous and harmful lawsuit.

I hope the House will soon pass and the President sign into law this vital piece of legislation that will protect the firearms industry, maintain our national security, and help guarantee our freedom to bear arms.

TRENDING NOW
Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Your Members of Congress Need to Hear from You on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017

On Monday, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) – joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) – introduced S. 59, the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (HPA). Similar legislation was introduced in the ...

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Alert: WA State Proposes Draconian Gun Ban Bills

Inspired, perhaps, by Oscar Wilde (“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess”), Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced two new sweeping gun control bills, with Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) and Rep. ...

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

On January 3rd, Congressman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.8th) introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which simply allows lawful firearm carriers from any state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state. The bill ...

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Supreme Court Asked to Review California’s Restrictive Carry Regime

On Thursday, the NRA-supported case Peruta v. California took an important step towards restoring the right to bear arms in California.  The plaintiffs in the case, California gun owners and the California Rifle and Pistol ...

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Virginia: Senate Committee to Hear Numerous Gun Bills Tomorrow

Tomorrow, January 18, the Senate Courts of Justice is expected to hear and possibly vote on several firearm-related bills.

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Increase in Violent Crime: National Trend Driven by Local Politics?

The FBI released its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report earlier this week and the bad news is that violent crime increased for the second consecutive year.

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kansas: Bill Introduced Attempting to Repeal Pro-Self-Defense Law

In 2013, the Kansas Legislature passed the Public Building Security Act, pro-gun legislation that amended the Personal and Family Protection Act. 

NRA Statement on Nomination of Ryan Zinke to Secretary of the Interior

News  

Friday, December 16, 2016

NRA Statement on Nomination of Ryan Zinke to Secretary of the Interior

Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement on the nomination of Congressman Ryan Zinke to be the Secretary of the Interior

Indiana: Legislative Session Begins with Numerous Pro-Gun Bills Filed

Friday, January 13, 2017

Indiana: Legislative Session Begins with Numerous Pro-Gun Bills Filed

With the 2017 Indiana legislative session underway, we are happy to report that a number of pro-gun bills have been filed.

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

News  

Friday, January 13, 2017

The NRA Bids Farewell to Roy Innis, Civil Rights Champion: June 6, 1934 – Jan. 8, 2017

America lost a civil rights icon and a true free thinker with the death of Roy Innis on Jan. 8. For the NRA, his departure was personal. Mr. Innis served on the NRA’s Board of ...

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.