Saturday, October 29, 2005

President signs the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

Finally, it's done. The President has signed into law the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act making it impermissiable to sue the manufacturer of a gun for criminal behavior of third parties. It's been too long but it's finally done.

:::::::: President George W. Bush today signed into law the National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" (S. 397) ending politically motivated lawsuits designed to bankrupt law-abiding American firearm manufacturers and retailers. S. 397 passed both chambers in Congress with broad bipartisan support.

"This is an historic day for freedom. I would like to thank President Bush for signing the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in twenty years into law. History will show that this law helped save the American firearms industry from collapse under the burden of these ruinous and politically motivated lawsuits," said Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s executive vice president.

In late July, the Senate approved the measure 65-31. Last week, the House overwhelmingly passed the bill 283-144. The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" was NRA's number one legislative priority and a monumental victory for the Association and its members.

"What we witness today is the culmination of a seven-year effort that included a comprehensive legislative and election strategy," stated Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. "We worked hard to change the political landscape to pass this landmark legislation. As always, our members were up for the task. Key electoral victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004 helped pave passage of this law.

Gun control advocates have already said they're going to challenge the law in court - activist judges, anyone? - but they don't have much of a leg to stand on. As has been reported over and over and over, the Act does not prohibit lawsuits in the case of negligence or criminal behavior on the part of the manufacturer or dealer, so it's not like someone wronged by the gun maker directly can't have his day in court.

Regardless, I consider this to be excellent news. Congrats to us all!