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"Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act"

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On October 26, 2005, President Bush signed S. 397, the "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act." Introduced by Sens. Larry Craig (R-ID) and Max Baucus (D-MT), this legislation is a vitally important first step toward ending the anti-gun lobby`s shameless attempts to bankrupt the American firearms industry through reckless lawsuits. Reps. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rick Boucher (D-VA) introduced similar legislation, H.R. 800 in the House of Representatives.

  • These suits are intended to drive gunmakers out of business by holding manufacturers and dealers liable for the criminal acts of third parties who are totally beyond their control. Suing the firearms industry for street crime is like suing General Motors for criminal acts involving Buicks.
  • These lawsuits seek a broad range of remedies relating to product design and marketing. Their demands, if granted, would create major restrictions on interstate commerce in firearms and ammunition, including unwanted design changes, burdensome sales policies, and higher costs for consumers. While the suits are unwarranted, the firearms industry has had to spend over $200 million in defense.
  • Congress has the power-and the duty-to prevent activists from abusing the courts to destroy interstate commerce.
  • The bill provides that lawsuits may not be brought against manufacturers and sellers of firearms or ammunition if the suits are based on criminal or unlawful use of the product by a third party. Existing lawsuits must be dismissed.

S. 397 provides carefully tailored protections for legitimate suits:

  • The bills expressly allow suits based on knowing violations of federal or state law related to gun sales, or on traditional grounds including negligent entrustment (such as sales to a child or an obviously intoxicated person) or breach of contract. The bill also allows product liability cases involving actual injuries caused by an improperly functioning firearm (as opposed to cases of intentional misuse).
  • The Congress has often passed limitations on liability for specific groups, including light aircraft manufacturers, food donors, corporations affected by "Y2K" computer problems, charitable volunteers, health officials, medical implant manufacturers, and makers of anti-terrorism technology.

These lawsuits usurp the authority of the Congress and of state legislators, in a desperate attempt to enact restrictions that have been widely rejected. Thirty-four states have also enacted statutes blocking this type of litigation.

Reckless Lawsuits


Friday, September 18, 2015

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Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination – Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley – have spent significant effort in recent months trying to ...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

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Last week, law professor and Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, exposed how the District Attorney’s Office in Nassau County, New ...


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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"They basically told me I'm one step below a murderer in the eyes of the New Jersey court." So ...


Thursday, August 6, 2015

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed NRA-backed House Bill 562 into law to improve a great deal of existing statutes ...

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 ...


Sunday, October 4, 2015

San Francisco Supervisors Drive All Gun Stores from City

When gun controllers contend that they aren’t out to prohibit civilian access to firearms, but simply want “responsible” ...


Friday, September 25, 2015

When Anti-Gunners Say "Gun Safety," They Don't Mean It

In what can only be described as a blatant display of hypocrisy, two gun ban groups have started ...


Friday, May 8, 2015

Guns vs. Cars Comparison is No Accident

In the Art of War, Chinese military theoretician Sun Tzu advised, “appear weak when you are strong, and ...


Friday, September 25, 2015

Witless for the Prosecution: New York DA Forces Staff to Forgo Second Amendment Rights

Madeline Singas, Acting District Attorney for Nassau County, New York, is a hypocrite. Worse, she is willing to ...


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

California’s Wildlife Resource Committee Continues to Operate without Procedures

On September 24, the National Rifle Association submitted a letter to the California Fish and Game Commission objecting ...


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.