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President Bush Signs Historic Bill - Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
Showing his continued support for legal reform to protect America’s law-abiding businesses and its economy, President Bush today signed into law a bill that will put an end to "junk" lawsuits against the nation’s firearms industry.
The "Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act" will block any future lawsuits attempting to hold firearms industry companies liable for the actions of criminals who misuse the industry’s lawful products.
"Our industry offers its sincere thanks to the president and Congress for recognizing the importance of this much-needed legislation. This law will not only help protect law-abiding businesses and the jobs of thousands nationwide, but it will also help ensure a positive future for our nation’s hunting and shooting traditions and our firearms freedoms," said Doug Painter, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association representing firearms and ammunition manufacturers.
President Bush praised Congress last week for the bill’s passage, saying, "I commend the House for passing the ‘Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.’ Our laws should punish criminals who use guns to commit crimes, not law-abiding manufacturers of lawful products. This legislation will further our efforts to stem frivolous lawsuits, which cause a logjam in America's courts, harm America's small businesses, and benefit a handful of lawyers at the expense of victims and consumers."
The U.S. Senate passed the bill (S. 397) in July with a 65-31 bi-partisan vote. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill Oct. 20 by a bi-partisan vote of 283-144.
"The firearms industry thanks Senators Larry Craig and Max Baucus, Congressmen Rick Boucher and Cliff Stearns and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell for their considerable efforts in getting this bill passed," said Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF.
With the bill becoming law, a motion to dismiss a case against firearm industry companies in New York City will be filed today.
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. The misguided efforts attempted to blame firearm companies for the illegal actions of criminals. These illegitimate suits have cost the firearms industry hundreds of millions of dollars in legal defense fees and threatened to bankrupt companies.
Among those attending today’s signing were Doug Painter, president and CEO of NSSF; Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of NSSF; Tom Fruechtel, chairman of the Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Fund and president and CEO of Leopold and Stevens; Michael Golden, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson; Jeff Reh, vice president and general counsel of Beretta USA; Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association; Rob Keck, president and CEO of the National Wild Turkey Federation; and Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation.
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