Congresswoman Susan Davis Votes to
Hold Rogue Gun Makers Accountable
Bill to protect the gun industry passes House
Washington, DC Congresswoman Susan Davis voted against legislation to shield gun manufacturers from civil lawsuits. The bill passed the House of Representative 283-144.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (S. 397) would prohibit civil liability lawsuits against gun manufacturers from being brought in federal or state court. Such suits contend that negligent gun makers knowingly provide weapons to irresponsible gun dealers, who then take advantage of gun sale loopholes to sell weapons to criminals.
The bill would go so far as to dismiss suits already pending in court. There are about 20 lawsuits that have been filed by local governments.
"This bill not only emboldens the gun dealers that now know they can continue selling guns on the street with impunity, but it bill also emboldens the criminals who know their gun supply will remain steady," said Rep. Davis. "This attempt to protect the profits of rogue gun makers will also ensure that taxpayers will bear the burden of the increasing costs associated with gun violence."
The bill would also bar lawsuits brought on behalf of police officers shot in the line of duty. For the families of these police officers, civil lawsuits are the only mechanism available to seek justice against an unscrupulous dealer that has provided weapons to criminals.
Passage of the bill was the top priority for the National Rifle Association and demonstrates the influence the powerful gun lobby has over the Republican-controlled Congress.
The Senate passed S. 397 in July on 65-31 vote. The bill now heads to President Bush, who is expected to sign it into law.