Rep. Adam Schiff seeks to roll back liability protections for gun manufacturers, sellers

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) announced Monday that he will introduce legislation to roll back immunity guarantees for gun manufacturers and sellers.

The Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act will counteract the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, which was passed in 2005 and provides licensed manufacturers, distributors and dealers of firearms immunity in state and federal court from most civil negligence and liability cases.

According to Schiff, his bill would allow for civil cases, giving a real incentive for gun sellers and manufacturers to act responsibly.

“Good gun companies don’t need special protection from the law, and bad companies don’t deserve it,” Schiff said in a statement

The PLCAA shields gun manufacturers and sellers from lawsuits even when they are selling hundreds of weapons to middle-men who turn around and sell those guns with no background checks.

“Other industries across our country don’t enjoy this protection under the law -- from pharmaceutical firms to automotive manufacturers or even cigarette companies -- and it's inexcusable for Congress to give the NRA and gun manufacturers a blank check,” Schiff said.

His bill would change the law so that victims will be able to discover and introduce evidence of negligence and allow courts to actually hear their cases.

Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, currently serves on the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and is gathering co-sponsors for the bill this week, according to his office.

-- Daniel Siegal, Times Community News

Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.


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