The Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act . or PLCAA, gets a lot of negative press. People lament the fact that the firearm industry enjoys a certain degree of protection from a certain type of lawsuit.
Opponents point out that no other industry has this kind of protection.
They’re right, of course. Then again, no other industry has needed this kind of protection.
Now, as part of his agenda, President Joe Biden is threatening the entire industry.
President Joe Biden has the firearms industry in his crosshairs.
During his Rose Garden address last month, Biden reaffirmed his support for repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCCA) of 2005.
“This is the only outfit that is exempt from being sued. If I get one thing on my list — (if) the Lord came down and said, ‘Joe, you get one of these’ — give me that one,” Biden said. “Most people don’t realize, the only industry in America, billion-dollar industry, that can’t be sued, exempt from being sued, are gun manufacturers.”
Biden’s hostility to this industry, however, isn’t new.
As a U.S. Senator, he voted against the PLCAA. Biden’s campaign listed repeal of the law as a top priority, stating, “This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products – a protection granted to no other industry. Biden will prioritize repealing this protection.”
If Biden’s administration succeeds in doing away with PLCAA, it’ll incur massive problems for lawful commerce of firearms and undermine Second Amendment rights.
BPI Outdoors CEO Nate Treadaway is very concerned about possible repeal of PLCAA, as it would undermine companies like his who engage in lawful commerce. BPI oversees CVA (a popular muzzleloader brand) and Bergara Rifles.
“We’ve been actually watching it very carefully and talking through it,” Treadaway told Townhall.com in a phone interview. “If that law were to be revoked and we had that liability opened back up to us, I do think it would put a hamper on some of the innovation that we’re seeing.”
“I also think that it would cause prices to go up because people are going to be prepared to pay higher liability on frivolous cases,” he added. “It’s one more tool of the opposition party to try to keep us from doing what we’re lawfully allowed to do.”
I think Treadway is optimistic.
If the PLCAA is removed, we’ll see countless lawsuits all stemming from what a third party did with their weapons. It would be like suing Honda because someone hit you with one.
That’s why the PLCAA was passed in the first place. Gun control advocates started suing firearm companies for what someone else did with their products as if it was their fault that someone misused a firearm. These lawsuits made life far more difficult for the companies, but imagine a world where the PLCAA is killed.
Lawsuit after lawsuit against every major firearm manufacturer would increase the cost of doing business. More and more of the companies’ resources are forced to go toward fighting these lawsuits. As Treadway says, prices would go up to account for that.
Yet that will only work to a point. Eventually, these lawsuits will drive companies into bankruptcy.
See, the purpose of the lawsuits isn’t really about redressing an issue. It’s not about punishing someone for doing wrong. It’s about trying to kill the firearm industry with a thousand cuts. No one lawsuit would be enough in and of itself, but with enough of them, they can dismantle the industry entirely.
Now, what would that mean for the Second Amendment?
Well, the answer is simple. The right to keep and bear arms is all fine and good, but what if there are no arms to keep and bear? Sure, we’ve got a lot of guns in private hands right now. Those could still be bought and sold, but for how long?
Plus, if they pull this one off, they’ll use these same tactics on the makers of accessories and so on. They’re not going to stop until they’ve made the Second Amendment meaningless.
So dig in, folks. We’re going to have to fight on this one.