Democrats Introduce Bill Allowing Crime Victims to Sue Gun Stores

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at
AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File

Democrat lawmakers introduced legislation on Wednesday to allow crime victims to sue gun stores for the misuse of firearms.

The bill, titled the Equal Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, is being pushed as a way to reverse protections gun stores and manufacturers enjoy under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which was signed in 2005.

According to The Hill, gun rights groups warn that the PLCAA was passed to protect gun stores and manufacturers from being sued by people using the court system as a backdoor avenue for gun control. But “Democrats say gun manufacturers and dealers that sell firearms to criminals should be ‘on the hook’ for mass shootings.”

At the same time, Democrats say overturning the protections on gun stores and manufacturers is not intended to lead to a surge in lawsuits. Rather, they assert that the “new legislation only targets irresponsible gun manufacturers and dealers that negligently sell firearms to criminals.”

Democrats did not explain how gun stores can be liable for those buying guns, since the ultimate decision to sell a gun lies with FBI examiners who do background checks on every retail purchaser.

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