NRA: Corporate Lawyers Muddying the Waters Around Gun Laws

By Dave Dolbee published on in General, News

Whether or not you supported him as a candidate, we would all like to think the next President will defend our rights under the Second Amendment. Early indicators are positive, but that does not mean the threat is diminished. It simply means we have one less entity against us. The threat from the antis is alive and they are up to their old tricks. In an attempt to counter the efforts of the NRA-ILA, and groups such as the Second Amendment Foundation, the anti gunners have formed anti-Firearms Accountability Counsel Task Force.


Here is the full story from the NRA.

The newly formed anti-gun Firearms Accountability Counsel Task Force was featured in a National Public Radio interview with attorney Mike Schissel of Arnold & Porter, one of the big corporate law firms that has joined together with other firms to provide free legal services to anti-gun groups. Mr. Schissel openly bragged about the “collective talent and collective manpower” of his group and that “the brute force of the major law firms in this country” would use “novel and aggressive thinking … to put a full-court press on the gun lobby.”

infographic showing an arrows pointed in opposite directions

This “novel and aggressive thinking” clearly does not involve telling the truth about the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), since Mr. Schissel claimed “There’s no other law—no other law at all—that shields consumer products from safety regulation.” He further alleged that “there are state laws that literally immunize a gun seller of any liability even if that gun seller knows he’s selling a gun to a criminal.”

Unfortunately for Mr. Schissel, literally every part of his claim is untrue. The firearms industry is not the only industry to enjoy the type of protection the PLCAA affords, and it most certainly does not provide blanket immunity from lawsuits. Any honest lawyer would also understand that it is a federal crime to knowingly sell a firearm to a criminal. There is no law which can immunize against this action in such cases.

The truth is that gun manufacturers have been found liable for defective firearms and gun dealers have been held both criminally and civilly liable for selling guns to prohibited persons. While spurious claims like the Connecticut suit against Remington Arms and the Brady Campaign’s lawsuit against Lucky Gunner were dismissed, Badger Arms was found liable for selling guns to an obvious straw purchaser—a case Brady Campaign attorneys were forced to leave after violating Wisconsin Supreme Court rules on pretrial publicity.

The truth about the PLCAA cannot be clearer. It was passed after anti-gun activists partnered with big-firm plaintiffs’ lawyers, big-city mayors, and the Clinton administration to bring an avalanche of lawsuits against the firearm industry and force them to either settle or go bankrupt from legal fees. The PLCAA only prohibits lawsuits for injuries “resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse” of firearms—the same way that car manufacturers and auto dealerships are not liable for injuries caused by drunk drivers.

Schissel’s other “novel and aggressive” strategy is to claim that state carry laws infringe on the rights of private property owners because they have to post “No Gun” signs to exclude people who are legally carrying a concealed firearm. Following this line of reasoning, business owners must be equally burdened by having to post signs to exclude other legal activity—like “No Smoking,” “No Pets,” and “No Shirt-No Shoes-No Service.” It is laughable to think that the effort to post these signs is so terrible and onerous that it can only be remedied by the courts.

In the final analysis, corporate law firms are giving away millions of dollars of free legal advice because they would recover many times that in legal fees if they could repeal the PLCAA. Indeed, Mr. Schissel and his law firm are already involved in a lawsuit against a firearm dealer—a lawsuit that has been made more complicated because of the PLCAA. This is not about reducing criminal violence or the public interest, but rather corporate lawyers who can’t tell the truth seeking new ways to wring money out of the court system.

What anti gun efforts are happening in your area? What do you think is the biggest threat to the Second Amendment for 2017? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (22)

  • Art

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    yea, and their sensible gun laws are a national registration. of course that is the first thing they do before confiscation. the move they are going for now is electronic money. if we allow it they will then have total control over everyone. this is getting crazy and the leites just want total control over us pee ons! ! F@@@en!!!

    Reply

  • Pete

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    With regard to corporate actions impacting our 2nd amendment rights, Nevada has just passed legislation very similar to that of Washington state. It is now a criminal offense to lend / borrow a firearm without completion of a background check thru a licensed dealer or individual with an FFL. This requirement is necessary on both the loan of the firearm and the return to the original owner (as well as associated fees to the dealer / FFL). These efforts are alleged to be initiated, backed and funded in large part by the Bloomberg organization. These state-by-state assaults by anti-gun advocates are typically supported by well-meaning voters who feel compelled to take some type of action against unnecessary mass shootings however, the impact of these legislative actions only serve to impose hardship and financial burdens on law-abiding gun owners and shooting enthusiasts. I cannot imagine any individual wishing to do harm following these laws. Our best course of action as responsible firearms owners is to educate our friends and neighbors and involve them in our sports of hunting and recreational shooting in an effort to heighten their level of comfort with firearms.

    Reply

  • Art

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    common sense? not an illegal national gun registry. the only purpose for that is confiscation. e

    Reply

  • Nero

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    Hello an hope all you had a great Christmas an I wish us the best in this upcoming new year.. but I do believe in commen sence gun laws, but to go after the manufacture is just nuts, people kill people it takes a human being to pull the trigger an take another person life, I have many firearms an guess what not one of them has ever gone off without me pulling the trigger… what we need to do is hold are politicians accountable they dems an Republican an banksters have done so much damage to the middle class an our country lets start holding them accountable for there actions!!!! Now a person on a no fly list an people with mental issues they really do not need to be in possession of a firearm… remember all it is going to take is another terror attack an once again we will watch our rights an freedoms being stripped away..

    Reply

    • Chameleon

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      Nero- ” a person on a no fly list … they really do not need to be in possession of a firearm” REALLY??? An essential tenet of our society is that “no person shall be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law.” No sane person wants a terrorist to get their hands on a gun, but we’re living in the real world.

      The no-fly list is broken in every way conceivable. Senator Ted Kennedy was on the no-fly list, as have been a large number of international news correspondents. Some estimates show at least 10% of the people on the no-fly list are there incorrectly I worked with a man for four years who was on the no-fly list because he shared the same name (which was ridiculously stereotypically Irish) as an IRA bomb maker, even though the actual threat was sitting in a British prison with a multi-decade sentence.

      If the no-fly list can be used to revoke a person’s 2A rights, a bureaucrat can simply type your name into a text box and turn you into a felon. The proposed “no-fly, no-buy” legislation added persons on the no-fly list as a prohibited category under federal law. It is a felony for someone in a prohibited category to possess or purchase (or attempt to purchase) a firearm. When put on the no-fly list, you aren’t notified. No matter how many FOIA requests you file, you’ll never be told whether or not you are on the list. Since you won’t be told that you’re on the list, there’s no way to demand your day in court to have your rights restored. That is unequivocally unconstitutional.

      The only way my coworker discovered that he was on the no-fly list is that he had to fly frequently for his job. Every time he checked in at an airport, he was escorted by armed TSA agents to a small room, where he was locked in and forced to wait for an hour or more while they called D.C. so he could be cleared to fly. He and the company we worked for spent more than $25,000 in attorney fees trying to get him taken off of the no-fly list, or at the least get some process by which he could get cleared faster. When I left the company, he hadn’t taken a single step forward, even after years of fighting.

      I, like the vast majority of thoughtful Americans, don’t want to give any bureaucrat, serving any politician, the power to revoke the rights of any American without due process. How many conservative groups were targeted by the IRS during the current administration? What punishment was doled out for this? None.

      Reply

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