NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety today applauded the introduction of legislation by Senator Blumenthal and Representative Schiff that would repeal the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which the NRA called the “most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in twenty years” at the time of its passage.
STATEMENT FROM ADAM SKAGGS, SENIOR COUNSEL FOR EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“In 2005, Congress enacted one of the biggest giveaways to private industry in American history by giving the gun industry blanket immunity from civil lawsuits. In any other business, a victim of a negligent manufacturer or dealer can seek relief in a civil lawsuit—but Congress slammed the courthouse door shut for victims of gun violence. More than 300,000 Americans have been killed with guns since Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The bill would right that wrong and make the gun industry play by the same rules as every other American business.”
Additional Information About the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act:
- Bottom Line: Gun manufacturers and dealers enjoy special exceptions from accountability under the law, both from oversight by federal regulators and from civil liability in the courts.
- For nearly forty years, gun manufacturers have had a special exemption from regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the government has been unable to provide the same oversight for firearms that they provide for every other consumer product—including for toys, pools, knives, and cars (through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
- In 2005, the gun lobby took this special exemption further by passing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The law provides broad immunity from all civil lawsuits for manufacturers and dealers, even if they negligently transfer guns when it is foreseeable that they will be used in crimes. With immunity from the law, gun makers can ignore downstream impacts of their business practices, including gun trafficking and transfers to felons or other prohibited people.