Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bernie Sanders Voted to Protect Crooked Gun Dealers

Message from Ladd Everitt

In 2004, a group of families destroyed by the D.C. sniper shootings brought a lawsuit against the gun company and dealer that armed the gunmen, Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply. Bull’s Eye’s sales practices were so grossly negligent they had “lost” 238 guns during the previous three-year period , including the Bushmaster rifle used in the shootings. The families won a settlement of $2.5 million when the trial court determined the gun industry could be held liable.

Unfortunately, such lawsuits are no longer possible under the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (PLCAA), which was passed by Congress just a year later at the behest of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The law gave gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers broad immunity from civil litigation—protections that were unprecedented and unjustified at the time and remain so.
One of the Members of Congress who voted for PLCAA was then-U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Unfortunately, Sanders—now a U.S. Senator and Democratic candidate for the 2016 Presidential nomination—continues to publicly and vocally support the law.
In recent days on the campaign trail, Senator Sanders has declared, "I don't apologize for that vote" [on PLCAA] and wrongly suggested that it was enacted to protect responsible gun dealers as opposed to negligent ones. These comments earned the Senator 2 Pinocchios from the Washington Post Fact Checker.1
The Gun Industry Immunity law has slammed the courthouse doors on victims and survivors of gun violence across the country, denying them a fundamental democratic right.
Ladd Everitt
Director of Communications
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
1. Michelle Ye Hee Lee, “Bernie Sanders’s Misleading Characterization of a Controversial Gun Law,” Washington Post Fact Checker, July 10, 2015


  1. Crazy grandpa Bernie got something right that's freaking amazing I might vote for him after all!!!!!

  2. "Bernie Sanders Voted to Protect Crooked Gun Dealers"

    So is that worse than actually being a crooked gun dealer? Like say Senator Leland Yee?

    "Yee discussed the opportunity for an agent to get weapons worth up to $2.5 million from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to bring them to the US. He told the agent, "There's a part of me that wants to be like you. You know how I'm going to be like you? Just be a free agent there." Yee was arrested on 26 March 2014 and charged with six counts of depriving the public of honest services and one count of conspiracy to traffic guns without a license."


    Its also sort of interesting that the same bill that Sanders is getting dinged for was offered up as a bargaining chip in an attempt to get the federal assault weapon ban extended.

    "A similar measure had been rejected by the Senate on March 2, 2004 after it had been combined with an extension to the assault weapons ban into a single piece of legislation."


    1. That's a cheap shot. Lee has nothing to do with this.

    2. That's a cheap shot. [Yee] has nothing to do with this.

      And scores of millions of gun owners have nothing to do with "gun violence," but you don't seem to mind blaming the masses for the misdeeds of the few.


    3. "That's a cheap shot. Lee has nothing to do with this."

      Actually, Yee makes a pretty good comparison. If he'd had actually delivered illegal weapons and they had been used in a crime, he could have been sued and wouldn't be able to use the protection of the PLAA since the sales were illegal.
      If an FFL sells a firearm following the myriad of gun laws in whatever jurisdiction he is in, he shouldn't be able to be sued for conducting business legally. Frivolous suits have also become a standard tactic for gun control advocates who have been unable to attain their goals through the political process.
      It must have surely ticked off the Brady Campaign to get the bill for the legal fees of those they were trying to sue.

    4. Uh, senator Lee is in the article. And he has as much to do with this as anyone. The cheap shot was provided by Lee himself.

    5. Fly, my comment mentioned Yee. When Mike's reply mentioned Lee, I just assumed he had been bitten by the autocorrect monster. I hadn't noticed there was an actual Lee in the article.

    6. I was hit with auto correct. Proof reading is a must with these (not so) smart devices.

  3. I wonder how many Pinocchios Ladd Everitt would get for his claims that the PLCAA gives the gun industry “blanket” or “broad” immunity. From fact checker:

    The 2005 law does not guarantee blanket immunity, and it has some exceptions. Manufacturers or dealers can be sued if they knowingly sold a product that would be used to commit a crime. They can be sued if they were negligent in selling the product to someone they knew was unfit (i.e., a child or someone who was drunk). They can be sued for another technical negligence claim (“negligence per se”) that relates to the violation of a safety statute. The law bars any other type of negligence claims against a gun manufacturer.


    “If the gun is defectively designed so that when fired it explodes and injures the shooter’s hand, they can sue for that. The suit that’s barred is by a crime victim who wants to say that a different design could have prevented or mitigated the crime,” said Kermit Roosevelt III, a University of Pennsylvania constitutional law professor specializing in Second Amendment and gun-control laws.

    The only reason why they gave Sanders two Pinocchios is because the law does give the gun industry special protections that other industries don’t have, but that is only because gun controllers are a special kind of enemy to this particular industry. If they weren’t going after such frivolous suits, this law would not have happened.

    While the law provides protections that no other industry has, courts have been reluctant to impose liability on manufacturers for third-party misuse of the product, said John Goldberg, Harvard Law School professor who specializes in product liability. So the types of lawsuits that Sanders mentioned (for hammers or guns) didn’t have a slam-dunk chance in court before this law came about. Instead, this law ensures that those types of lawsuits can’t be brought against gun manufacturers.

    So basically, the tool (hammer) industry doesn’t have this protection, because they don’t need it. No judge in the country is going to rule against Estwing just for making the hammer that someone used to bash their victim’s skull in. But you probably could find judges who are willing to treat the gun industry as special, hence the need for special protections.

  4. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122309/bernie-sanders-archive-bustling-mysterious-young-men

    “The [Liberty Union Party] more strongly than any other party in the State of Vermont defends civil liberties.”

    That defense of civil liberties included a commitment to unfettered gun ownership: The party, while Sanders served on its executive committee, adopted a platform in 1972 that called for the “abolition of all laws which interfere with the Constitutional right of citizens to bear arms.”

    This may suggest that Sanders’s relatively permissive views on gun ownership, already the subject of much consternation among liberals, could be rooted in sincere principle—not simply in the practical realities of winning election in rural Vermont.

    I don't think Uncle Bernie is gonna listen

    And I may vote for him after all.

  5. Here is an example of a gun manufacturer somehow being successfully sued. I wonder how this could have happened? Oh wait, since it was a genuine firearm defect, there was no protection from civil liability.

    "Brazil-based handgun maker Forjas Taurus SA has agreed to a $39 million settlement in a class action lawsuit alleging some of the company’s most popular semi-automatic handguns can discharge when dropped and have a defective safety that allows the gun to fire even when it’s engaged.
    According to court documents filed May 15 in a U.S. District Court in Florida, the company has agreed to pay up to $30 million to owners of nine separate handgun models who opt to send their pistols back, with owners receiving anywhere from $150 to $200 for their pistols depending on how many choose that option."


    1. Your concern to protect corporate America is touching. To bad you don't express the same concern for the innocent people killed by gun shot because you gun loons refuse to accept responsibility for your guns.

    2. Well Anon, if a business sells a legal product following all laws that are in force, then please explain why they should be sued, and not say, the government who passed these laws that the manufacturer or gun store are complying with? After all, maybe such a lawsuit would motivate the government to pass the laws you lust after.
      Minus of course, those that are protected by the evil Constitution.

    3. Sure, but first you explain why you support criminals and don't support gun safety.