The National Rifle Association posted a story Monday on its website headlined “Biden Plots Sneak Attack Against U.S. Firearms Industry,” but even a cursory look at the new president’s gun control scheme that has been online for a year shows this is not a sneak attack but a full frontal assault and he’s never made it a secret.
As Ammoland News noted several days ago, Biden is on the warpath against gun owners and the firearms industry, declaring he would send a bill to Congress to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was passed during the George W. Bush administration. This has always been part of his “plan to end our gun violence epidemic.”
“In 2005,” according to his long-published plan, “then-Senator Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, but gun manufacturers successfully lobbied Congress to secure its passage. This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products – a protection granted to no other industry. Biden will prioritize repealing this protection.”
Nothing sneaky about that.
As noted by NRA, “No business, no matter how conscientious and law-abiding, could ever survive being liable for the acts of millions of random people over whom it had no control. And that is exactly why the law generally imposes no duty on a person or entity to control the acts of third persons to prevent them from causing harm (unless the person or entity has certain types of relationships with those causing the harm or being harmed).”
Later, NRA explains, “While portrayed by opponents as providing “extraordinary” immunity to the firearms industry, the essence of the PLCAA is simply that the gun industry would be subject to the same rules of third party liability that apply to other businesses.”
Lastly, the story asserts, “Contrary to the way the PLCAA is portrayed by the antigun media and other opponents, it does not provide ‘absolute immunity’ to unscrupulous gun companies. Most common and legitimate forms of recovery are still available to plaintiffs under the PLCAA, including those based on the manufacturers’ or sellers’ own violations of gun control laws or laws governing the sale or marketing of the products; negligent entrustment by sellers; breach of contract or warranty; design or manufacturing defects (when the harm was not caused by a volitional criminal act); and enforcement of federal gun control laws.”
While Biden will be pushing his gun prohibition agenda in Washington, D.C., out in “the other Washington,” there are several gun control measures on the table, including one to ban so-called “high capacity magazines.” During an online hearing Monday on Senate Bill 5078 in Olympia, Wash., the Senate Law & Justice Committee heard people on both sides of the issue including one retired teacher whose niece was one of the victims of Isla Vista, Calif., killer Elliot Rodger in May 2014.
There’s just one problem with using that tragedy to promote a ban on magazines that hold more than ten cartridges, and it’s a big problem. Rodger didn’t use “high-caps.” All of the magazines for the three handguns he purchased legally, passing background checks each time, were California compliant ten-rounders. When police found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, they recovered all three handguns and a half-dozen empty magazines.
The shooting occurred in a state that already had a magazine ban in place, so the law obviously failed fatally. Three of Rodger’s six victims were stabbed to death. Only after those three murders did he drive down to the University of Southern California Santa Barbara and open fire, killing two young women and a young man.
The woman didn’t actually claim high capacity magazines were used in the Isla Vista murders, but she did argue, “High capacity magazines have made more deadly many shootings including those close to home in Seattle, Mukilteo, Spokane and Burlington.” The same woman testified in favor of a separate gun control measure on Tuesday.
During that hearing, also before the Law & Justice Committee, several people testified in support of Senate Bill 5038, which would ban the open carry of firearms at rallies and demonstrations. Many related stories about how they felt intimidated by the presence of openly armed citizens at various gatherings. Others oppose the measure, arguing their right to keep and bear arms under both the federal and state constitutions, and that there are already existing laws to address the problems expressed by other speakers.
Many testified about alleged research that says open carry makes people less safe, without providing any references. Among those testifying were several volunteers with Moms Demand Action, the gun prohibition lobbying group.
With Democrats in control of both houses of the Legislature and the governor’s office, the potential for passage of gun control measures is high.