Most important legislation affecting gun rights is raised at the state level, but the most significant law in this same vein enacted by Congress was the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). That’s a big statement, but it’s true. The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (FOPA) was badly needed at the time of its passage, but PLCAA was simply next-level.
This Act literally saved the American gun industry from certain doom. It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when. Gun control radicals were most of the way through the process of suffocating manufacturers under the weight of litigation costs. All they had left to do was to increase the volume and tinker around the edges some. Firearm laws throughout the country could be made as freedom-embracing as possible, but none of them would mean a thing to anyone in practical terms down the road if no business entity on the planet could afford to make the guns Americans needed in order to actually exercise their rights. This Act literally saved the American gun industry from certain doom. It wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when.
The gun prohibitionists understood this in no uncertain terms, and their singular goal prior to PLCAA passage was to make gun manufacturing and distribution so expensive that no one would dare start or continue. They couldn’t secure outright gun bans through our representative democracy, as exercised in Congress and state legislatures, but they knew they had sinister and unaccountable allies within the judicial branch.
They could file frivolous civil case after frivolous civil case with no hope of a jury siding with them. Winning the case didn’t matter, because their big win would come when the country’s gun makers arrived at the unavoidable conclusion that the costs exceeded the profits, something no business can survive for long. In this case, the legal costs associated with fending off the frivolous litigation would tip the scales. The gun prohibitionists even recruited big cities with unlimited taxpayer-provided financial resources for high-dollar attorneys to file their own lawsuits against gun manufacturers. The big cities definitely became the big bullies.
Things were going very badly for freedom in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I was lobbying in those days, and staying informed on the issues on an hourly basis was what I did. I was truly fearful that the entire industry was going to fold. As Americans, we would have the guns we already had in our holsters, safes, bedside tables and display cabinets, but new ones would not be available for future generations. Today it might sound extreme and ridiculous, but there is no doubt it was going to happen if the lawsuits were allowed to continue.
Watching Hillary Clinton on the presidential campaign trail has always been a nightmare scenario for me. I could spend a solid week listing all of the reasons, but concern for what she would promise to do with regard to eroding the firearms freedoms of law-abiding Americans has always been one of them. I expected it to be bad, but never this bad.
She is unabashedly calling for the repeal of PLCAA. As a Yale-educated attorney, she also knows that she’s lying to the public every time she makes her case. Of course, nothing should be surprising about lies from the Bill and Hillary show, but she’d get a lashing from any judge if she ever tried to sell her same sorry story in a court of law.
While campaigning in Iowa on Oct. 7, Clinton was quoted as saying, “Probably one of the most egregious, wrong pieces of legislation that ever passed Congress when it comes to the issue is to protect gun sellers and gun makers from liability.” Okay, this is her opinion so it’s not a lie, but it sure clarifies that she would like to see every gun manufacturer in America bankrupted. Voters just need to get a handle on this simple truth.
The big lie came a moment later when she went on to pitifully claim, “They [gun makers and sellers] are the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability. They can sell a gun to someone they know they shouldn’t, and they won’t be sued. There will be no consequences.” The word “hogwash” was coined for a reason. The radicals shouldn’t be allowed to sue the makers of perfectly legal, non-defective firearms, no matter how much they abhor guns.
The truth is that gun makers and sellers can still be sued successfully under PLCAA for doing such things as making defective products and engaging in illegal activities like knowingly selling firearms to prohibited possessors. Yeah, they can be sued for the kinds of things that the civil justice system was always intended to address; go figure. Clinton knows the law but doesn’t care, and she knows the media will not call her on her lies.
During her 20-minute rant against gun rights, CNN’s radical Rachel Maddow complained about Bernie Sanders’ vote for PLCAA by saying he voted to oppose letting “people sue gun manufacturers the same way that normal companies get sued for liability when their products hurt people.” Maddow and Clinton are cut from precisely the same cloth. They couldn’t possibly care less about the truth as long as their agenda to “fundamentally transform” America is advanced.
What the PLCAA did stop is litigation aimed at holding gun makers and distributors liable for the acts of third parties like criminals and the suicidal, over whom they have absolutely no control. Here in America, we don’t hold car makers and dealers responsible for the acts of drunk drivers or those who kill themselves by carbon monoxide poisoning. We don’t hold hammer and knife makers responsible for the acts of gang members and the deranged. If we did, there would be no makers of cars, trucks, cutlery and blunt objects left standing. They would not be able to afford the costs of doing business. The radicals shouldn’t be allowed to sue the makers of perfectly legal, non-defective firearms, no matter how much they abhor guns.
It’s nearly impossible for me to say anything remotely positive about Clinton, but I must admit that her vast campaign machine is sophisticated. That she is dismissing polling that shows around 75 percent of the American public supports the individual right to keep and bear arms and opposes a ban on the private possession of handguns is something to behold.
With her advocacy of entirely ending the manufacturing of new firearms by the revival of reckless litigation, she is running directly contrary to what three-quarters of the American public seems to believe. This is a big bet, and it’s one she’s going to lose as long as voters understand what she is really doing. She can read all about the failure of a presidential candidate from Tennessee in her husband’s book. His bet to “only” ban affordable handguns and scary-looking rifles was weak-kneed relative to hers.
We know we can’t rely on the mainstream media to report the truth. It’s NRA’s job to get the truth out through means such as NRA-ILA and NRA News. We as individuals must talk to everyone we know and have those people do the same. Tell everyone who will listen that Hillary Clinton wants to ban the manufacture of any new firearm. She wants to shut down the sale and distribution of the most heavily regulated commonly owned private property in the country—firearms. If she gets her way and repeals PLCAA, this is precisely what she will accomplish. It is irrefutable; the stakes could not be higher. Now go and educate while there is still time!