ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
Although the news media largely has ignored it, President Joe Biden took it on the chin in his drive to sink gun-makers’ congressionally approved immunity from anti-gun activists’ lawsuits.
An Arizona federal judge has ruled in favor of Glock, the No. 1 firearms manufacturer in U.S. sales, and dismissed a Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence lawsuit on behalf of a man who was accidentally shot and paralyzed.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich in mid-March upheld liability immunity granted in the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed in 2005 to block gun-makers from a potential wave of industry-killing lawsuits.
Brnovich, nominated by former President Donald Trump and the wife of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, dismissed multiple claims in the suit that the act’s protections were illegal.
“The statute is constitutional,” she wrote.
Of course it is. Lawsuits blaming the firearms industry for others’ criminal acts or negligence defy even common sense.
“These attempts to hold manufacturers responsible for the criminal and negligent misuse of firearms are misguided and are attempts at legislation through litigation,” says Mark Oliva, the spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade group.
“The PLCAA law was passed with a bipartisan majority in both chambers of Congress to keep activists from attempting to bankrupt firearm manufacturers by tying them up in court with unfounded claims. This demonstrates why protecting this legislation against attacks by President Biden and gun control factions in Congress is critical.”
Biden, pushing for more gun control and repeal of the PLCCA, falsely has claimed the firearms industry is “the only industry in America” that can’t be sued. That is untrue.
Others are protected, as well. TSA screeners cannot be sued for disputes at airport checkpoints. Pfizer and Moderna have total immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines. Almost 30 states have granted legal immunity to nursing homes to shield them from COVID-19 lawsuits. The list goes on, and the PLCAA does not grant immunity in all instances.
Judge Brnovich’s call was the right call.