October 20, 2020
By National Shooting Sports Foundation
NEWTOWN, Conn. – NSSF®, the trade association for the firearm industry, is focusing on former Vice President Joe Biden’s radical antigun campaign promise to repeal the industry-essential Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The bipartisan law prevents activist lawyers and politicians from attacking the firearm industry with frivolous lawsuits that are designed to bankrupt manufacturers for the heinous crimes committed by individuals.
Biden and his running mate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) have sworn to eliminate the law that was passed with strong bipartisan support in Congress in 2005.
“Joe Biden and Senator Harris have promised to repeal this law for one single reason. They want to unleash a wave of baseless lawsuits filed by agenda-driven antigun groups and plaintiffs to tie up firearm manufacturers in legal proceedings and bankrupt them through court costs, judgments and penalties,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The Biden campaign refuses to blame criminals that commit crimes and instead purposefully misleads the public into believing a responsible industry is at fault in order to achieve their gun control agenda. The Biden-Harris plan would allow harassing lawsuits that would be similar to suing Ford for a death caused by a drunk driver.”
Biden has repeated the false claim that firearm manufacturers cannot be sued. It is the same campaign tactic employed by Hillary Clinton in 2016, which Politifact labeled “false” four years ago. It is still just as false today.
The PLCAA does not totally exempt firearm manufacturers from all liability. Just like other industries, including auto makers, pharmaceutical companies and others, firearm manufacturers can be held liable for defective products, breach of warranty, criminal misconduct and other behaviors for which they are directly responsible. This is no different from a car company being held liable for defective air bags, but not when a drunk driver kills a pedestrian. Biden knows this but still continues to make his deceptive claims.
Biden’s plan to roll back PLCAA is in keeping with his admonition during the Democratic primary when he said, “Our enemy is the gun manufacturers.” Biden attacks the industry that produces firearms for the U.S. military, federal, state and local police agencies. It’s the same industry that more than 15.4 million people turned to in order to obtain firearms this year to protect themselves and their family. Nearly 6.2 million have done so for the first time in 2020. Under a Biden administration, the industry that provides the means for tens of millions of law-abiding Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves and their loved ones would be at risk.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.