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Friday, January 29, 2016

Democratic Lawmakers Seek Gun Industry Suits—Again

Some Democratic anti-gun lawmakers have teamed up with the Brady Campaign to introduce legislation that would once again expose gun manufacturers and dealers to Clinton-era type nuisance lawsuits designed to bankrupt them.

Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and California Congressman Adam Schiff want to repeal 2005’s Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act (PLCAA). They were joined by Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, whose website called the PLCAA “a law that protects gun manufacturers and dealers from liability for the tragedies caused by their negligence.” 

Counter to the legislators’ claims, the PLCAA does not shield the industry from liability for negligence, as demonstrated by the recent Badger Guns decision. The PLCAA was enacted when New York City joined 30 U.S. cities and counties who, spurred by huge settlements from tobacco industry lawsuits, sued the gun industry for the perceived “costs of gun violence.” The Clinton administration even planned to use the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to file crushing suits against the industry.