One of the things Democrats pushed for nationally during the 2020 election cycle was a repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce of Arms Act. They seem to believe gun manufacturers are somehow liable for how their products are misused by criminals and they want to sue gun makers into oblivion.
While Democrats didn’t make the huge gains they expected to make this time around, they made enough. There’s likely to be a battle over the law and there’s no guarantee that it will survive. In Iowa, however, lawmakers are considering implementing their own protection at the state level in case the PLCAA goes away.
A Republican senator is advancing a bill to give new liability protections to companies that make and sell guns and ammunition.
Senator Jason Schultz, a Republican from Schleswig, said it’s an attempt to end what he calls back door gun control.
“The intentional effort to file lawsuits for the purpose of breaking, financially breaking…the firearms industry,” Schultz said.
The House Public Safety has approved similar legislation. Senator Schultz and another Republican signed off on the bill early this morning to make it eligible for debate in a senate committee. Richard Rogers of the Iowa Firearms Coalition is urging Republicans in the state legislature to act quickly on the bill. Rogers said the federal law that provides liability protection for the gun industry is endangered.
“The Biden Administration and members of congress who now control congress have vowed to repeal that,” he said.
Rogers noted that we don’t sue Toyota every time someone runs down a pedestrian, which is a valid point. I agree with it completely. We also don’t sue knife companies when someone gets stabbed to death.
No, this only happens with firearms.
Frankly, I hope Iowa passes this measure. More importantly, I hope a whole lot of other states pass similar laws. If the PLCAA is repealed, it would be nice to see that people can’t file these frivolous lawsuits just anywhere.
See, PLCAA opponents argue that these companies are responsible for these guns ending up in criminal hands, which is impressive considering they usually don’t even sell directly to the gun stores, can’t ship directly to private individuals, and are required to keep extensive records on the disposition of all guns they produce. Somehow, they are liable for what third-parties do, and that’s beyond ridiculous. We don’t blame Jack Daniels for drunk drivers and we shouldn’t blame Smith & Wesson or Glock for violent crime.
What the law doesn’t do is protect them from liability for faulty manufacturing or anything any other company in the world would be sued for.
The whole purpose of this effort is to sue gun makers into oblivion. They can’t repeal the Second Amendment, but if they can destroy the firearms industry in this country, then the effect will be the same. The right to do something is meaningless if there’s absolutely no way to do it. Your right to keep and bear arms is useless if there are no arms to keep and bear.
If states follow Iowa’s lead, though, they can at least provide some protection to these companies. Perhaps enough they can stay in business. Who knows.
Ideally, every state would have such a law.
While opponents claim no other industry has such protection, the truth is that no other industry has needed it.
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