Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA-28) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are pushing a bill to allow crime victims to sue gun makers for redress.
The bill would also allow suits to be brought against gun sellers.
According to The Hill, the bill is being pushed to reverse the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which was passed in 2005 and signed into law by George W. Bush. The PLCAA protects gun manufacturers from suits stemming from the misuse of their products, but Democrats–particularly Schiff–present the PLCAA as shielding gun manufacturers even in the event of the production of a faulty product.
Schiff said, “If you’re a pharmaceutical company and sell faulty drugs, you can be held liable. If you’re a liquor store and sell alcohol to minors, you can be held liable.” He added, ““Why should it be any different for gun manufacturers?”
The problem with Schiff’s argument is that gun makers do not have immunity from lawsuits over faulty products. For example, Remington gun owners were recently informed of a class action lawsuit against the gun maker over allegedly faulty trigger mechanisms, and just last year Forja Taurus SA reached a $30 settlement in a class action lawsuit over an alleged “drop fire defect” in certain Taurus pistols.
Yet Schiff talks as if gun makers face no scrutiny–no modicum of liability for the products they make.
The PLCAA was not intended to allow gun makers to create faulty products with impunity but to protect them from being sued by money hungry trail lawyers and anti-gun groups every time someone buys a gun legally, then misuses the weapon. President Bush recognized such an approach to lawsuits would soon bankrupt and erase the gun industry, so he moved to protect them.
Schiff and Blumenthal are now pushing to remove those protections.
Schiff “recently sent a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter” to his fellow House Members, urging them to end “immunity” for gun makers and gun sellers.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.