America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 44

F R I V O L O U S

L A W S U I T S

SHOULD BUSHMASTER PAY FOR NEWTOWN?
control agenda, one that predates
the Newtown tragedy by decades.
At the very least, Bloomberg and his
anti-gun cronies will be watching the
case carefully.
Does This Lawsuit Have
A Chance?
This negligence and wrongful death
lawsuit is attempting to pin legal
liability on an American gun company,
retailer and distributor after a person
illegally used a legally made and sold
product. Back in the 1990s, on the
heels of tobacco lawsuits winning
multimillion-dollar settlements, trial
lawyers and municipalities went looking
for their next victim, and chose to
make a run at firearms manufacturers
and related businesses. President Bill
Clinton's administration and some other
politicians gladly backed the scheme.
Holding Winchester or other gun
makers liable for the actions of a
murderer, of course, is akin to holding
an automaker accountable if someone
was to drive a pickup into a crowd of
people. According to this legal theory,
you could sue Martha Stewart if
some fiend used one of her pillows to
smother someone. It doesn't take much
imagination to see what such a legal
precedent would do to our freedom
and economy.
To stop these frivolous but
devastatingly expensive attacks on
gun makers, the nra and Second
Amendment supporters in Congress
battled long and hard in support of an
important piece of legislation named
the Protection of Lawful Commerce
in Arms Act. At the time, numerous
lawsuits designed to bankrupt gun
companies were making their way
through courts in various jurisdictions.
"Dozens of lawsuits were driving
gun makers to economic ruin," nra
Executive Vice President Wayne
LaPierre said at the time. "Firearm
makers have squandered more than
$200 million defending 30 such
lawsuits. Yet the entire industry
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combined wouldn't qualify as a Fortune
500 company.
"No other [industries are] forced
to defend themselves when a violent
criminal they do not know, have never
met and cannot control misuses a legal
and non-defective product. America's
firearm manufacturers deserve the same
fair treatment."
After the prolonged battle that
featured nra's grassroots supporters
making thousands of calls and writing
countless letters to their representatives,
Congress passed the measure in 2005,
and President George W. Bush signed
it into law. The cover of the December
2005 issue of America's st Freedom
proudly proclaimed: "Won For All!
How A Nationwide Grassroots Effort
By nra Members Saved The Domestic
Firearms Industry From Certain
Death." At the time, it was hailed by
LaPierre as the most important pro-gun
legislation in decades.
"This is an historic day for freedom,"
LaPierre said upon passage of the
measure. "What Congress did is no
less than the salvation of the American
firearms industry. It was either going
to be saved or destroyed, and Congress
voted to save these great names in
American firearms manufacturing.
"History will show that this law
helped save the American firearms
industry from collapse under the
burden of these ruinous and politically
motivated lawsuits."
Now nearly a decade later, many in
the mainstream media still wrongly
insinuate that this legislation shields
firearm manufacturers from civil
liability for any faulty products they
might produce. They say this, even
though right in the law's introduction
it says it is an act "[t]o 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."
[Emphasis is ours.]

To get around this law, Koskoff,
Koskoff & Bieder is attempting to use
a claim of "negligent entrustment."
The act has a list of explanations and
exceptions that includes "an action
brought against a seller for negligent
entrustment or negligence per se." The
concept might apply to an individual,
for example, who entrusts a loaded
firearm to a person under the influence
of drugs or alcohol and who has a
well-known propensity for violent or
irresponsible behavior. But Koskoff,
Koskoff & Bieder claim that the gun
maker and other parties should be
on notice that the firearm type Adam
Lanza used to commit his crimes poses
a per se "unreasonable risk" to
the public.
This is like an attorney claiming
that the maker of a sports car should
conclude that sports cars are an
unreasonable risk to public safety
because they're statistically more often
associated with traffic accidents. No
wait, even that analogy doesn't hold
up because "rifles" of any sort were
used in 2 percent of murders in 2013
(the fbi doesn't break out so-called
"assault weapons" as a separate category
of rifles in its statistics, so all we can
say is ar-15s are some smaller slice of
the 2 percent). Or look at it this way:
According to the fbi, of murders in
2013 in which the weapon used was
known, 285 were committed with rifles
of any type, compared to 1,490 with
"knives or cutting instruments," 687
with "hands, fists, feet, etc.," and 428
with blunt objects.
Instead, it's more like an attorney
claiming that a sports car manufacturer
should be sued out of existence because
its sports cars are specifically designed
for handling at speed, responsiveness
and acceleration, even though those
attributes are all inherently useful to
drivers of automobiles. In other words,
only in a world where no firearms
make sense do the plaintiffs' arguments
make sense.
Eminent Second Amendment
scholar and attorney Stephen P.
Halbrook said this case runs directly
counter to the 2005 law.
"This lawsuit is frivolous and
violates the Protection of Lawful



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - March 2015

Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 4
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 5
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 6
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 7
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 8
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 9
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 10
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 11
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 12
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 13
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 14
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 15
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 16
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 17
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 18
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 19
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 20
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 21
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 22
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 23
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 24
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 25
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 26
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 27
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 28
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 29
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 30
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 31
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 32
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 33
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 34
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 35
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 36
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 37
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 38
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 39
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 40
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 41
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 42
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 43
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 44
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 45
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 46
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 47
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 48
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 49
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 50
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 51
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 52
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 53
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 54
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 55
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 56
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 57
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 60
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 61
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 62
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 63
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 64
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 65
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 66
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover4
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