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A different view on the gun act

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Washington Post editorial on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act proves once more that political leanings are more important than truth, and the new Empire is willing to perpetuate misinformation by repetition without facts.

The PLCA is solely to provide firearm manufacturers and dealers the same protection afforded all other product manufacturers. It does not protect against a justified lawsuit for negligence or product defect, but does require a manufacturer's product be involved in the causal event and that there be negligence or defect.

Trial lawyers and government officials citing an event but naming all manufacturers and dealers of that class of firearm as defendants have filed large numbers of lawsuits in anti-gun areas around the country.

Example: A gang member using a stolen handgun kills a person. Result: All dealers in the region and all manufacturers of similar handguns are named as defendants and sued for responsibility-liability.

The purpose of the suits is not to win or prove fault, but to force the dealers and manufacturers to obtain counsel to fight the suit, incurring legal fees in so many jurisdictions that they will be forced into bankruptcy or out of business. A loose collusion of anti-gun forces in many jurisdictions bringing simultaneous lawsuits has already forced many smaller dealers and manufacturers out of business. This is the horrible abuse of the legal system the PLCA is attempting to correct.

The exception examples cited by the writer are ludicrous given the level of regulation in place by the federal government for the manufacture and distribution of firearms. That regulation includes background checks, licensing and inspection of all manufacturers and dealers.

Records are required from manufacture, serial number assignment and shipping, dealer receipts, purchaser retail sale forms and purchaser background check. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms inspects and audits all records.

Robert Zukas

Juneau



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