One of the reasons lawsuits against the firearm industry is restricted unlike any other kind of lawsuit is simply because gun control advocates have a history of trying to bankrupt firearm manufacturers for acts they’re not responsible for. It got to be such a problem that Congress stepped in and passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
When gun control advocates talk about the law, though, they pretend that it blocks people from suing gun makers for just about anything when that’s simply not the case. They like to act as if they’re standing up for consumers or something.
However, Salon admitted what the left’s game really is with their lawsuits, and that’s to circumvent the legislative process.
Daniel “Bud” Williams was a 16-year-old high school basketball star shooting hoops outside his home in Buffalo, New York, when he was severely wounded in a drive-by shooting on Aug. 16, 2003 — a case of mistaken identity. More than 17 years later, just before Thanksgiving, he finally got the last full measure of justice, as Brady United announced a historic settlement with the gun distributor responsible for the gun that shot him — a “Saturday Night Special” Hi-Point 9mm semi-automatic pistol, one of 87 sold in a single illegal transaction.
It was just one of several recent gun safety developments in which the gun industry and NRA rhetoric of “protecting Second Amendment rights” for “law-abiding gun owners” — for “good guys with a gun” to “stop a bad guy with a gun” — is diametrically opposed to the facts of the case. Instead, these cases, including the first to target untraceable “ghost guns,” point the way toward common sense, common-ground policies that gun owners themselves substantially support.
In the Williams case, the distributor, a company called MKS, “agreed to significant reforms in distribution of guns, which is unprecedented,” Brady chief counsel Jonathan Lowy told Salon.
“I’ve been litigating gun liability cases with Brady for 23-plus years now, and the position of gun manufacturers and gun distributors has always been, our only obligation is to sell a gun to someone legally,” Lowy explained. “In the settlement, MKS agreed to actually pay attention to its downstream sales, to take some action so that downstream dealers that it supplied would sell in a responsible manner. That’s a huge step forward.”
It’s also a huge step for the example it sets for others in the industry, and as a possible model for how regulations could be significantly strengthened to crack down on illegal gun trafficking — the kinds of regulations that NRA members themselves strongly support, in contrast to the industry-connected organization. As with the Day One Agenda I wrote about last weekend, no congressional permission is needed. President Joe Biden could dramatically improve gun safety simply by making this model of responsibility mandatory for all distributors.
The thing is, gun manufacturers are not responsible for what happens after it leaves their warehouses. What’s problematic about these lawsuits is that they seek to demand gun makers take steps that literally no other industry is expected to make. Car manufacturers, for example, aren’t required to make sure dealers are conducting background checks on buyers or any other such nonsense.
The gun sold in the deal that MKS reached a settlement on was sold illegally. That tells us that it was a different matter entirely than 99 percent of gun sales on a daily basis, yet the gun grabbers rarely acknowledge this fact.
However, as the story notes, this is a way to try and push changes that Congress has been unwilling to make.
They can’t win in the legislature, so they’re trying to win in the courtroom.
The thing is, I don’t know that they’ll pull this off in the long run. Sure, MKS made a settlement, but that’s in a case that looks like they may have actually screwed up somewhere along the way–The Lawful Commerce in Arms Act has always allowed lawsuits for illegal gun sales–