The firearms industry is “the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability,” Democrat presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWatchdog wants FBI's notes from Obama interview in Blagojevich probe Flynn's son spreads conspiracy theory about DC pizza shop This Week in Cybersecurity: Dems press for information on Russian hacks MORE said during a campaign event last fall. “They can sell a gun to someone they know they shouldn’t, and they won’t be sued. There will be no consequences.”
“You can sue a company for making an unsafe toy — but not for making an assault rifle used to kill children,” she tweeted earlier this year.
The so-called immunity and “whole protection” Clinton and her anti-gun supporters are referring to is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was passed by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by then-President George W. Bush in 2005. In fact, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersWeek ahead: AT&T-Time Warner merger under scrutiny This week: Government funding deadline looms Week ahead: Cures bill nears finish line MORE voted for it — not because the senator is from Vermont but because it was the logical, fair thing to do. Due to political pressure grounded in hysteria rather than based in fact, Sanders has changed his position and now says he would vote against the legislation.
There are seven purposes outlined for the act, but the first purpose is the most applicable to the claims of Clinton and her allies, which is to “prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.”
“To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others,” the legislation states.
To put it simply, this legislation means the gun industry is not liable for the actions of bad people who use their products to do harm. The legislation does not strip liability for bad products, nor does it protect companies from knowingly selling firearms to people they know will use them to carry out a crime.
To prove immunity and whole protection for the gun industry simply doesn’t exist, we can look at a number of liability lawsuits filed and settled after the 2005 Lawful Commerce Act was passed. Gun companies Remington, Taurus and Century Arms have all been under fire in recent years for selling allegedly defective products.
After decades of claims the Remington Model 700 rifle was malfunctioning, with a round being fired without a trigger pull and causing serious injury, a class-action lawsuit was brought against the company in 2013. The company still denies the claims, but is currently involved in a settlement that could cost it $500
million. It’s also recalled nearly 8 million of the rifles with offers to replace allegedly faulty triggers.
Late last year, an Alabama man filed a lawsuit against Taurus after claiming his handgun went off, with his finger off the trigger, while inserting a new magazine. The round struck his 11-year-old son, who was killed.
“The lawsuit is among a growing number of cases filed against the Brazillian-based [sic] company claiming that some of its pistols have defective safety systems that cause them to fire when dropped or jarred,” AL.com reports. “The company has already agreed to a voluntary recall of nine models — nearly 1 million pistols — in a settlement of a class-action lawsuit.”
In January, Century Arms was sued for allegedly producing AK-47s that fire when the gun is in safety mode.
“According to the complaint, the defendants design, test, manufacture, assemble, market, supply, and distribute certain AK-47 rifles. The suit says these rifles have a common design defect that allows the rifles to fire when the safety is pulled, placed, or pushed above the safety lock, creating an unreasonably dangerous situation for any person possessing one of the rifles,” Legal Newsline reports.
Just like every other industry, the firearms industry can in fact be sued — a far cry from being immune or “wholly protected” of any liability.
Despite these facts, we’ve seen the smear campaign against the industry, not to mention against the good men and women who work within it, continue without challenge.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is not immunity, as Clinton has claimed, but rather protection for firearm companies, and by default the Second Amendment, from being harassed and sued out of business.
Pavlich is editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.