Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Thursday, February 17, 2005

LAWSUIT REFORM LEGISLATION INTRODUCED

Bipartisan bill will halt “predatory” lawsuits against firearm manufacturers, dealers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Larry Craig (R-Idaho) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) joined 26 of their colleagues today in introducing legislation to prohibit certain lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and dealers.

The legislation is nearly identical to S. 1805 from the last Congress. After five days of floor debate at the end of February and the first part of March, 2004, the legislation was amended with a number of unrelated gun control measures. Consequently, just eight senators voted for the amended bill, despite the fact the original bill had 54 cosponsors, including both the majority and minority leaders.

The bill prohibits lawsuits against firearm manufacturers, dealers, and their trade associations (which does not include the National Rifle Association) when they have acted lawfully but a third-party uses their legal product to inflict harm. It does not apply when a dealer, manufacturer, or trade association breaks the law.

The bill is being introduced because of the large number of lawsuits that have been filed. For up-to-date status of the lawsuits, please visit www.nssf.org.

“I am proud to sponsor legislation that will put an end to the politically-motivated lawsuits against the firearms industry,” said Craig. “These outrageous lawsuits attempting to hold a law-abiding industry responsible for the acts of criminals are a threat to jobs and the economy, jeopardize the exercise of constitutionally-protected freedoms, undermine national security, and circumvent Congress and state legislatures. They must be stopped.”

Baucus said, “Both Senator Craig and I are long-time supporters of the second amendment. It's been a pleasure to work together with Senator Craig on a common-sense bill that will help protect Idaho's and Montana's gun owners and manufacturers. It's important that we protect our law-abiding citizens and not allow frivolous lawsuits to take place. I look forward to continue working with Senator Craig to move this legislation through Senate and to the President's desk.”

Craig’s colleague from Idaho, Senator Mike Crapo, is an original cosponsor. “Gun manufacturers, owners, and traders face an increasing number of lawsuits filed with the intention of driving the firearms industry out of business by attempting to hold manufacturers and dealers liable for the criminal acts of third parties. These lawsuits could restrict interstate commerce in firearms and ammunition,” Crapo said. “Fortunately, many of these cases have been dismissed and presiding judges are recognizing these attempts to use the court to bring about restrictions in the lawful commerce of firearms. This legislation will backstop what those judges already recognize and save the time and money that is currently wasted when these ‘junk’ lawsuits are brought to court in the first place.”

NOTE: To read Senator Craig's full statement or to link directly to this release, please use the following address: http://craig.senate.gov/releases/pr021605a.htm.

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