Legislation by 2008 Presidential Candidates: against lawsuits against gun manufacturers
Source: Firearms Heritage Protection Act (H.R.123)
OnTheIssues.org explanation: This bill is a response to the success of tobacco lawsuits, which resulted in cigarette manufacturers paying billions to compensate for the long-term negative health effects of tobacco use. Gun manufacturers grew concerned that the same sort of lawsuit would be applied to guns.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
To prohibit civil liability actions against manufacturers or distributors of firearms or ammunition for damages resulting from the misuse of their products by others.
Requires dismissal of any such action that is pending on the date of this Act's enactment
Specifies exceptions with respect to actions against persons who transfer a firearm knowing that it will be used to commit a crime of violence.
EXCERPTS FROM CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS:
The Congress finds the following:
Citizens have a right, under the Second Amendment, to keep and bear arms.
Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers
& dealers of nondefective firearms, which seek money damages for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including criminals.
The sale and use of firearms and ammunition is heavily regulated.
Businesses that are engaged in commerce of firearms or ammunition are not, and should not be, liable for the harm caused by those who unlawfully misuse firearm products.
The possibility of imposing liability on an entire industry for harm that is the sole responsibility of others is an abuse of the legal system.
The liability actions commenced are based on theories without foundation in hundreds of years of the common law and American jurisprudence.
An expansion of liability would constitute a deprivation of the rights guaranteed to citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary; never called for a House vote.
Participating counts on VoteMatch question 10.
Question 10: Absolute right to gun ownership
Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
Topic: Gun Control
Headline: No lawsuits against gun manufacturers
Headline 2: Sponsored bill banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers