CCRKBA CONGRATULATES CONGRESS FOR VOTE TO END FRIVOLOUS ANTI-GUN LAWSUITS

Saturday, September 4th, 2004

BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing legislation aimed at preventing frivolous municipal lawsuits against the firearms industry.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb called the lopsided bipartisan 285-140 vote “a reasonable first step toward ending costly and baseless litigation against perfectly legal gun makers.” The legislation must now go to the Senate.

“Anti-gunners have failed repeatedly in recent years to outlaw gun ownership and destroy the firearms industry through legislative and regulatory efforts,” Gottlieb stated. “Turning to the courts with a series of headline-grabbing lawsuits has also proven to be pretty much a bust as these legal actions have been repeatedly rejected.

“It is time for Congress to reign in the cities, and especially the greedy trial lawyers who want to pursue these lawsuits, only to amass billable hours against already-strapped municipal budgets,” added CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “It is pretty clear that every one of these lawsuits is designed to cost gun makers millions of dollars and drive them out of business, when they have done absolutely nothing wrong.”

As passed by the House, the legislation would prevent lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers, distributors and retailers for damages that result from the misuse of their products. Over the past five years, 33 cities, counties and states have sued the gun industry. Many of those cases have already been dismissed.

“Protection from frivolous lawsuits will allow gun makers to re-direct their attention to educating the public,” Waldron noted. “It will bring an end to what has amounted to using the courts to harass perfectly legitimate businesses.”

“Big city mayors should not be allowed to turn gun companies into corporate scapegoats in order to deflect attention from their own failures to control crime in their jurisdictions,” Gottlieb observed. “Taxpayers have been footing the bills for these specious legal actions for five years. There are far more effective ways to spend tax dollars and fight crime, and 285 House members recognize this. They did the responsible thing.”