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Suing Retailers and Manufacturers — What the People Think

Bar Graph of voter across party lines for PLCAA

It is not going to be much of a surprise to the readers of The Shooter’s Log that 70 percent of American voters do not support allowing crime victims to sue firearm manufacturers and retailers when firearms they made or sold lawfully, after background checks, are used illegally in crime. Instead, voters from across political parties and geographic regions back the defense that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) provides the firearms industry. WIth such an overwhelming majority, why do politicians and the gun control lobby keep trying? Bar graph of support for PLCAA More than 70 percent of voters disagree with a position one presidential candidate has made a centerpiece of her campaign. Like that candidate, others running for federal office have chosen to run against and misrepresent this decade-old law that prevents crime victims from suing firearm manufacturers and retailers who have not broken any laws.

These findings were among the results of a national scientific poll of 1,000 registered voters conducted in mid-April by Harper Polling and released today by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

Some 72 percent of those surveyed agree that the PLCAA “should be kept and we should punish the criminals who commit these acts not the law-abiding manufacturers and retailers of lawful products which get misused” instead of “this law should be repealed because the current protection enables manufacturers and retailers to sell guns to people who shouldn’t have them, because they know they cannot be sued and don’t face any consequences” (26 percent). Only 4 percent were not sure.

A majority of voters in all regions of the country say the statement about keeping PLCAA more closely reflects their opinion (Midwest: 70 percent, Northeast: 64 percent, South: 73 percent, West: 75 percent). This holds true even for a majority of those who cast a vote for President Obama in the last election (53 percent) and for a majority of non-gun owners (56 percent).

Bar Graph of voter across party lines for PLCAA “The concept that an entire industry should not be held liable for the criminal or negligent use of products made and sold legally clearly makes sense to the overwhelming majority of the American public, as these poll results demonstrate” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “We commissioned this poll to help determine where Americans stand. They have told us. Now, it’s time for politicians to demonstrate that they have some respect for the good sense of the people and to stop vilifying the hard-working people of an entire industry and exploiting real tragedy that is the result of criminal conduct.”

Why do politicians keep pandering to a minority of anti-gun voters? Do you think it is money from special interest groups? Other political motivations? Share you opinions in the comment section?

About NSSF The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 13,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org. [dave]

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (10)

  1. 2nd Amendment “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”

    Definition of to KEEP: to hold or retain in one’s possession; hold as one’s own.
    Definition of to BEAR: to carry, transmit, transport, have a characteristic of and exhibit.
    Definition of INFRINGE: to “encroach” upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another.

    THIS IS THE WORD MOST FORGOTTEN……INFRINGE!!!!!
    Read the meaning!!!
    Definition of INFRINGE/ENCROACH……..
    1: to enter by “GRADUAL STEPS OR BY STEALTH” into the possessions or rights of another.
    2: to advance beyond the usual or proper limits

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    The meanings of the words in the Second Amendment have not changed since the amendment was ratified. I’m not aware of the Second Amendment being repealed or amended.

  2. Does this mean that we can sue the liquer company for producing a product tht got a person drunk who than had a crash that killed someone? What about the car manfucter and dealer who sold him the car? No one should be held responsible for someone else being stupid.

  3. If we allow lawsuits against weapons manufacturers in situations OTHER than a product manufacture or design failure then the next step is car companies after an auto accident, stove manufacturers after a cooking fire, fireplace manufacturers after chimney fires … these people need to stop their stupidity!

  4. This is nothing more than an attack on the Second Amendment. It’s not even a particularly veiled attempt. It is illogical, ill thought out, and sets up bad jurisprudence.
    It would be different if a manufacturer puts a firearm out there that is unsafe, for instance, one that has a chamber blow up from regular ammo injuring the shooter of said arm. Such a thing would be negligent manufacturing, and the company should justly face repercussions.
    This is a different scenario altogether. It would be akin to me going after Ford Motor Company in court if a drunk driver ran down my wife in a F-150 pickup. Ford was in no way negligent. The drunk driver is responsible.
    This is a disturbing trend, and should in no way be tolerated. These types of backdoor attempts to disarm us cannot succeed. The Second Amendment is there for a reason. A very good one. Gun control is not about the guns. It is about control.

  5. I had foolishly thought that this sort of legal chicanery had been neutralized and put to rest by the passage of the PCLAA. I don’t think that it is in any way realistic to make the claim that the manufacturer of the gun is somehow responsible for a mentally deranged individual murdering his own mother in order to gain possession of her firearms so that he could use them to commit further murders of schoolchildren.

  6. As long as there are groups of people who believe that they alone know what’s best for everyone we’re going to a group that wants to outlaw firearms in the hands of people they don’t trust to follow the agenda. Restrictive firearms law came into effect after the Civil War in the South when people in control were afraid to allow anyone who was not pro-carpet bagger or anti-carpet bagger (depending on who had political control of the area) have firearms. This spread to NY during the latter 1800’s and manifested itself as the infamous “Sullivan Law” giving the police the complete discretion as to who can have a concealable weapon. For many years it was just about impossible to have a pistol unless you were politically connected (it’s still very difficult to get a permit in NYC).

    Today as the majority of the states have far more reasonable “shall issue” laws for firearms, the agenda of the groups that wished political control are being threatened; so new methods had to be developed. The attack on firearms and ammo manufacturers, distributors and dealers is not as much as to force a monetary settlement, but force these groups into extremely expensive legal defense situations. The best thing that has happened recently on this issue is the case of Phillips vs Lucky Gunner; District Court, Arapaho County, CO, where the judge not only dismissed the case, but awarded legal fees to the defendant (Lucky Gunner). It looks like the Brady organization will be on the hook for some $200,000, despite their claim that it will the Phillips family that will have to pay.

  7. The issue is nothing more than pandering to a constituency than hasn’t the slightest understanding (or doesn’t really care) of the 2nd Amendment. Further, this particular block of voters, cannot even fathom holding the criminals accountable for their actions. Instead they CHOOSE to blame an inanimate object for what people do with it. It is truly bass-ackwards thinking!!! I almost wonder if the voters who support this do not have a bit of common sense!

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