Bill Introduced to Hold Gun Producers Responsible for Gun Violence
House and Senate Democrats reintroduced a bill that would allow victims of gun violence to sue the sellers and producers of those weapons. Representative Adam Schiff, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Senator Chris Murphy introduced on Wednesday the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act. Though this is the second time such a bill has been introduced, proponents feel as though, with it being Obama’s last term, that now is the best time for the bill to possibly be signed into law.
Ending the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
The real goal of the Act is to put an end to the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which made it illegal for victims of gun violence to sue the people who sold them the guns or produced them. The goal of the law, says those behind it, is to force the gun industry to be responsible for the safety, or lack thereof, of their products. In addition, the Act is aimed at thwarting “straw purchases”, where someone who can legally purchase a weapon purchases one for someone who may not be able to.
Senator Chris Murphy, after introducing the Act, said, “The standards of negligence are the same, whether you’re coming after a negligent gun dealer or a negligent automaker. We’re not asking for any special treatment for the gun industry. We’re asking for the special treatment they enjoy today, the immunity they enjoy, to be removed.”
This bill has wider implications, namely for the presidential landscape, as both Clinton and Bernie Sanders traded stabs at the most recent Democratic debate. Sanders, who voted in favor of the 2005 bill that granted gun producers special protections, recently stated that he has since changed his stance and would vote for the repealing of the 2005 law.
This piece of legislation can do big things for thwarting gun violence across the country, but that is only if it is passed. Right now there are a large amount of people who do not think this Bill has even a shot of passing, and that is something proponents of the bill will have to overcome. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the course of the year, especially with all of the presidential candidates gearing up for extended runs at the Oval Office.