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Congress Approves Law to Stop Frivolous Gun Lawsuits
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that will protect firearms manufacturers from lawsuits that seek to hold them liable for the criminal misuse of their lawfully sold products. The passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (S. 397) has been hard fought and long-awaited in the firearms manufacturing community.
The bill, which passed with a 283-144 bi-partisan vote on Oct. 20, prevents junk lawsuits against firearms manufacturers. These lawsuits have widely been viewed as thinly-veiled, backdoor attempts at gun control by the anti-gun lobby. The U.S. Senate passed the bill in July with a 65-31 vote that also crossed party lines. The bill will now go to President Bush, who has said he would sign it if it reached his desk.
“The passage of Senate Bill 397 is good news for the firearms industry and the sporting community,” said Bud Pidgeon, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance president. “Any industry, not just the firearms industry, could be the target of similar harassing lawsuits. The effects of this legislation are far-reaching.”
Since 1998 more than 30 municipal lawsuits have been filed against the makers and sellers of firearms by anti-gun organizations and anti-gun politicians. These illegitimate suits have cost the firearms industry hundreds of millions of dollars in legal defense fees and threatened to bankrupt companies.
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