The only thing preventing liberal activist groups from litigating the firearms industry out of existence is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 (PLCAA). Under that law, manufacturers who produce functional firearms with required safety features that are free of dangerous defects can’t be sued for the actions of criminals who use their products with evil intent. But if congressional Democrats led by Adam Schiff have their way, those protections will be stripped away and an endless string of lawsuits will begin. The Democrats have now introduced new legislation that they claim will allow victims of gun violence to “have their day in court.” (NPR)
The Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act aims to repeal federal protections blocking firearm and ammunition manufacturers, dealers and trade groups from most civil lawsuits when a firearm is used unlawfully or in a crime.
Those protections date back to 2005, with the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said since PLCAA became law, state and federal courts have “dismissed numerous cases against the gun industry,” adding that other cases were likely not brought at all.
Schiff, surrounded by members of gun violence prevention groups including Moms Demand Action, Brady and March For Our Lives, said the purpose of the legislation was to “correct the error Congress made” nearly a decade and a half ago.
Victims of gun violence already have their “day in court” if they wish it. They can seek restitution from the people who shoot them (or their estate if they are deceased). There are multiple avenues open to the litigious allowing them to go after the individuals who harmed them or, in some cases, those responsible for providing secure spaces who fail to do so.
Of course, if there were any honesty in the anti-gun movement, they would suggest that the major automotive companies could be sued every time a drunk driver kills someone or a case of vehicular homicide crops up. On an average year, according to the FBI, more than 1,500 people are stabbed to death and another 500 are beaten to death with blunt objects. I suppose Hillerich & Bradsby (the makers of the Louisville Slugger) and all manufacturers of kitchen knife sets should be sued out of existence as well.
It would be nice if we lived in a world where the PLCAA wasn’t necessary, but that’s unfortunately not the case. We are a nation full of duplicitous political actors who will abuse our system of courts to achieve goals they can’t manage through legislative action. If the PLCAA is weakened or removed entirely, the people who have failed to repeal the Second Amendment will stack up one lawsuit after another against firearms manufacturers until they are run out of business or are forced to price their products beyond the reach of most citizens. That’s what the Democrats want, after all, and the ends will justify the means.
Fortunately, this bill has zero chance of making it out of the Senate and President Trump would never sign it if it somehow did. But that situation isn’t guaranteed to last. This is yet another preview of what the country can look forward to if Democrats are given control of all branches of government again. Just as they use threats of boycotts to undermine states that pass laws they don’t like, they will launch a blizzard of lawsuits to make it impossible to sell legal firearms in the United States.