A Judge Rules Gun Companies Should Pay for What?

A Judge Rules Gun Companies Should Pay for What?

A Pennsylvania appeals court ruled that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is unconstitutional. If upheld, this ruling could bankrupt the U.S. firearms industry, as a flood of junk lawsuits would be filed by anti-Second Amendment organizations with the express purpose of driving gun companies and dealers out of business. Superior Court Judge Deborah Kunselman overturned a trial court’s decision and ruled that the PLCAA violates both the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment. Politicians on the left often mischaracterize the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Judge Kunselman wrote: “The constitutional safeguards that override the PLCAA are the structural pillars of American government. … Congressional tort-reform bills, like the PLCAA, have no place within that system. …” Of course, there is no shortage of federal tort reform—see the Federal Tort Claims Act to get a taste. But, to put it plainly, this judge is attempting to use federalism to make gun manufacturers and dealers responsible for the actions of criminals. Though this ruling would only affect such reckless lawsuits in Pennsylvania, and is sure to be appealed, it’s worth addressing here because the PLCAA is a political issue nationally; for example, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) 2020 platform says: “Democrats believe that gun companies should be held responsible for their products, just like any other business, and will prioritize repealing the law that shields gun manufacturers from civil liability.” This is disingenuous. The PLCAA does not protect gun companies from civil liability […]

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