American Hunter - December 2020 - 19

By Jason Ouimet

Executive Director,
NRA-ILA

Protecting
the PLCAA

Getty Images photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

T

hose who advocate to
repeal or overturn the
Protection of Lawful
Commerce in Arms Act
("PLCAA") are advocating
the annihilation of our Second
Amendment. That may sound
alarmist, but a right to keep and bear
arms without any way to lawfully
manufacture, sell, or purchase those
arms is no right at all.
The PLCAA generally protects
licensed firearm manufacturers
and sellers from frivolous lawsuits
brought to recover damages for the
criminal misuse of their products.
This protection should have been
unnecessary because our legal system
generally does not punish anyone for
the criminal actions of others, but a
group of attorneys and politicians
in the 1990s set out to use the tort
system to achieve the gun-control
policies that had been rejected by
state legislatures and Congress.
These suits, though they were of
little merit, posed a grave threat to
the industry; and in turn, America's
gun owners. In 1998, Executive
Director of the anti-gun U.S.
Conference of Mayors was quoted
by The New York Times as stating,
"[t]he lawyers are seeing green on
this issue ... they think they can bring
the gun industry to its knees." One
of those attorneys "seeing green,"
John Coale, was quoted in a 2000
Washington Post article remarking,
"[t]he legal fees alone are enough to
bankrupt the industry."

americanhunter.org ❘

ILAS_1220.indd 19

19 ❘

Andrew Cuomo, who is certainly no
stranger to using the courts to punish
his political rivals, described the legal
campaign against the firearm industry
as a "death by a thousand cuts" when
he worked as Secretary of Housing
and Urban Development.
Imagine if Louisville Slugger could
be punished for attacks by criminal
assailants using their bats, or if Ford
or GM were liable for damage when
someone intentionally crashed one of
their cars. No industry could survive
in such a legal landscape, and that
is exactly what the lawyers bringing
these cases and Cuomo banked on: the
death of the American firearm industry.
My first experience working on the
PLCAA came in 2004 when working
in the office of former Sen. Saxby
Chambliss (R-Ga.). The bill failed that
year when Sen. Dianne Feinstein
(D-Calif.) attached a version of her
perennial gun ban to the PLCAA. But,
in 2005, after beginning my first year
at the NRA, I had the privilege of
working to help pass this extremely
important piece of American law.
While passage of the PLCAA
saved the firearm industry, and with
it every law-abiding American's
right to acquire a firearm to protect
themselves and their families, the
PLCAA itself is now under attack.
Political attacks on the PLCAA
have claimed that it provides "unique"
protection to firearm business and
that it protects them from liability for
damages for which they are at fault.
These claims are simply false.

december 2020

10/16/20 4:13 PM


http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2020

Contents
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover1
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover2
American Hunter - December 2020 - 1
American Hunter - December 2020 - Contents
American Hunter - December 2020 - 3
American Hunter - December 2020 - 4
American Hunter - December 2020 - 5
American Hunter - December 2020 - 6
American Hunter - December 2020 - 7
American Hunter - December 2020 - 8
American Hunter - December 2020 - 9
American Hunter - December 2020 - 10
American Hunter - December 2020 - 11
American Hunter - December 2020 - 12
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American Hunter - December 2020 - 18
American Hunter - December 2020 - 19
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American Hunter - December 2020 - State_1
American Hunter - December 2020 - State_2
American Hunter - December 2020 - 79
American Hunter - December 2020 - 80
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover3
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover4
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