Frivolous lawsuits to bankrupt gun manufacturers take a big hit

Dennis Putnam dap1 at BELLSOUTH.NET
Sat Jul 30 14:28:31 MDT 2005

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For those that don't subscribe to NRA Alerts:

NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert Vol. 12, No. 30 7/29/05

Thanks to your efforts, today, the U.S. Senate passed S. 397 by a strong 
bipartisan vote of 65-31!  While this doesn't assure the bill will be 
enacted into law, it represents a MAJOR first step toward ending the 
anti-gun lobby's reign of extortion through reckless lawsuits against the 
firearm industry.  The fight now moves to the U.S. House of 
Representatives, so it is critical that you once again contact your U.S. 
Representative and urge him/her to pass S. 397--"The Protection of Lawful 
Commerce in Arms Act."

As reported yesterday, an amendment by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) passed, 
which requires federally licensed dealers to provide a "secure gun storage 
or safety device" with the sale/transfer of every handgun (does not apply 
to long guns).  It does not require gun owners to use the device, does not 
apply to private transfers, and does not create any new civil liability for 
gun owners who choose not to use these storage devices. Virtually all new 
handguns today are sold with some type of secure storage or safety 
device.  The amendment has no significant impact on current law or S. 397 

The U.S. Senate rejected a slew of anti-gun amendments to S. 397 including:

    * Special "carve out" amendments by Sens. Corzine (D-N.J.) and 
Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would have permitted reckless lawsuits by law 
enforcement and juveniles to continue unabated.  Both were soundly defeated;
    * A ban on "armor piercing" ammunition (Kennedy-D-Mass.) (by a vote of 
31-64) that would have banned virtually all hunting ammunition. Similar 
efforts have been continuously defeated by Congress, and Sen. Kennedy's 
most recent attempt was nothing more than anti-gun political 
posturing.  (The Senate did adopt an amendment by Sen. Larry Craig 
(R-Idaho) calling for increased penalties if "armor piercing" 
handgun  ammunition is used in the commission of a crime.), and;
    * A "gutting" amendment by Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) that sought to 
continue to allow the very types of suits  S. 397 prohibits (by a vote of 

This long overdue victory marks the culmination of your tireless 
efforts--your phone calls, faxes, letters, e-mails, and personal 
meetings--over the past few days, and over the past many years.  As 
critical as these efforts were, this victory also highlights your 
importance in volunteering and voting for pro-gun candidates running for 
office.  Without your steadfast work in past election years to elect more 
pro-gun U.S. Senators, we simply would not have had enough votes to pass 
this bill in the Senate.

Defeating former Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) in the 2004 elections 
(Daschle, as you'll recall was the architect who last year allowed the bill 
to be loaded up with anti-gun amendments), and thus elevating Sen. Harry 
Reid (D-Nev.), a consistent and longstanding supporter of S. 397, to that 
leadership position represented a major step toward guaranteeing we finally 
received a fair procedure to bring this measure up for a final vote, and 
carried out the will of a majority of the U.S. Senate.  And of course, 
members should express their gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist 
(R-Tenn.), Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid, and bill sponsors Sens. 
Larry Craig and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) for their leadership and stewardship 
on S. 397.

While this fight is far from over, the Senate's action today enabled us to 
overcome a major hurdle in enacting this legislation into law.  All of us 
at NRA-ILA thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for your continued 
vigilance in seeing this bill through the U.S. Senate.  You deserve a 
lion's share of the credit, and we know you will help us finish the job 
once and for all by now contacting your U.S. Representative and urging 
him/her to support "The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act."

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