Protection of lawful commerce in arms.


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Smurfslayer
June 30, 2005, 08:53 PM
WHY is this the NRA-ILA's top priority?

My understanding is that primarily the National Shooting Sports Foundation, among others, represents and lobbies for the manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and accessories to Congress and state legislatures. These companies have vast resources and influence due to their financial solvency, and lucrative government contracts. They can exact influence upon government officials that NO lobbying force or groups can muster.

WHY is NRA-ILA turning their backs on sportsmen like us and pandering to wealthy manufacturers who honestly don't need their help. More importantly, even if it passes this year, that's 2 years of completely wasted time in which ILA could've concentrated on issues more dear to citizens, not corporations.

I realize that if the manufacturers are driven out of business, we're going to have a tough time of it. But the thing is that we're having a tough time of it anyway. We could be making progress but with NRA-ILA consumed with protecting wealthy manufacturers at our expense, we're left with nobody helping us. Where were these manufacturers when the AWB was passed? Where are they now with the likes of Feinswine pushing it yet again? It just seems to me that ILA is helping companies that do literally nothing to help US.
Why?

And whatever happened to LEAA supporting citizen carry a la HR 218? We were promised that LE carry was a "first step" and that our help would be rewarded with their help in getting permit holders added to that deal. Another lie?

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Standing Wolf
June 30, 2005, 09:12 PM
There are no wealthy firearms manufacturers in the United States.

Their legal costs—"extortion" by leftist extremists would be a more accurate way to put it—are passed on to all of us who buy firearms and ammunition.

It just seems to me that ILA is helping companies that do literally nothing to help US.

If you don't like the firearms manufacturers, build your own. To be sure, the nation's manufacturers haven't done much of a job of standing up for the Second Amendment; letting them be driven out of business, however, makes a bad problem worse.

Every victory for the Second Amendment is a victory for us all, whether it affects us directly, indirectly, or apparently not at all.

cuchulainn
June 30, 2005, 09:15 PM
WHY is NRA-ILA turning their backs on sportsmen like us and pandering to wealthy manufacturers who honestly don't need their help. Honestly, I don't think that the NRA is paying so much attention to this issue that it's neglecting other issue. Or put another way, if your favorite issue isn't moving forward, I don't think you can attribute it the NRA's excessive attention to this the junk lawsuit issue.

(And I'm also not sure that I'd put gun manufacturers in the "wealthy" column, FWIW).

lunaslide
June 30, 2005, 09:18 PM
It is as important to stop the anti-gun movement on this front as it is on the others. Over the past several years they have been unable to get the legislation they have wanted passed, so they have turned to lawsuits as a way to force lawful firearms manufacturers and dealer out of business as an end run around 2nd amendment rights. If there are no firearms to buy, the right to own them is a moot point. Not only is it a danger that the manufacturers will go out of business, but out of self-preservation and good business sense some might decide to start doing LE only sales to save themselves the trauma of selling to civilians.

This isn't a gimmie to the gun companies. This is another front on a war with many battlegrounds.

I'll add to this that the law should apply to all manufacturers of all goods, not just the gun manufacturers. So long as you are selling a product that works as advertised and does not malfunction or cause harm through proper use, manufacturers should not be held liable for the stupid, dangerous or illegal things that people do with them. But if we're going to start with firearms, it's a good place to start.

Smurfslayer
July 1, 2005, 09:19 AM
First, let me clarify 'wealthy'. The companies have more discretionary funds than do you or I. Significantly more. They're businesses, they wouldn't continue if there weren't a profit in it.

The tide has turned on the antis with regard to these lawsuits. Most were submitted with the knowledge they would fail, they simply wanted to accomplish 2 things. 1: pull the issue further left. This worked, you now see guns with integral locks and must be sold with some sort of lock. and 2: cost them the money to defend themselves in court. This also worked(past tense)... Take a look at S&W's woes, as a company, they're lucky to be around. But this was the heyday of the Clintoon years. By now, the overwhelming majority of these cases were laughed out of court and it continues to this day. Sure, eventually we might see a successful trial verdict, likely overturned on appeal, but how many active lawsuits against manufacturers are there? I agree, manufacturers, distributors, and dealers who are acting otherwise lawfully should not be held liable for the actions of another. I disagree that it should be ILA's top priority.

Every week I get at least one NRA-ILA letter asking for money so we can "pass the lawful commerce in Arms" bill. I think it's a good idea, but I don't think it should be at the expense of paying attention to rolling back some of the laws that infringe us. This is still a "defensive" strategy, and we have done nothing offensively to roll things back since we've had both houses in (allegedly) gun friendly hands. It's not going to get better this way, all we'll have is the status quo. If that makes everyone happy, then I guess the entirety of the second amendment is a moot point because we've acquiesced to the enemies of freedom before the fight even began.

El Tejon
July 1, 2005, 09:46 AM
Why do you think that firearms makers have piles of money under their mattresses? They are tiny operations. George Soros or Ted Kennedy could buy them and close them tomorrow.

Even if a maker is successful in civil litigation, you do realize that attorneys cost money? Makers are having to defend themselves against a wave of litigation which, even if not successful, could bankrupt them with attorneys' fees. Imagine the cost of defending each and every murder where the perpetrator used a firearm. Imagine what the cost will be when tort concepts such as res ipsa, conspiracy, inter alia are allowed to be used by plaintiffs.

Remember like chess in litigation the threat is often worth more than the piece. The continual threat of nuisance litigation impacts business and the firearms' market.

For once the NRA is thinking strategically by backing legislation that will help ensure firearms' makers can be in business. The Protection of Lawful Commerce should be the NRA's top priority.

Old Fuff
July 1, 2005, 10:55 AM
El Tejon is right on target. Those of us that buy guns are the ones who ultimately pay the price for all of this litigation, because those costs are passed on to the retail buyer. Besides legal costs you also have the matter of maintaining liability insurance, and that too has gone through the roof.

The gun-grabbers knew exactly what they were doing when they went after the manufacturing companies. If you read the so-called Smith & Wesson Agreement it quickly becomes clear that the Clinton administration's goal was to take over and control the entire handgun industry, not just S&W.

To win a war you have to fight all of the battles, no matter where they are joined. El Tejon is smart enough to understand that we are in the middle of a war, even if some others aren't. :fire: :banghead:

RavenVT100
July 1, 2005, 11:08 AM
Tejon, where would I go to find some legal quotes and documentation on exactly why these lawsuits are frivolous? Whenver I get into a debate with antis on how these lawsuits are carried out, they demand "legal proof" of their frivolousness, hoping that I won't be able to provide it since I'm not a lawyer (they aren't either, and they ignore the common sense aspect of it all). Most of the time all it takes is a quoting of the Judge's decision, because they usually get thrown out. But is there a document that explains why they're frivolous, from a legal standpoint?

I only ask because I know you're the lawyerly type.

armoredman
July 1, 2005, 11:11 AM
The only question I have, is that if there are so many co-sponsors, (over half of both House and Senate), why has this bill not moved? I would have figured it a dead lock months ago, but it sits....where? Why? Hmmm....

cuchulainn
July 1, 2005, 11:14 AM
armoredman,

They know that Phil E. Buster will show up. He's a very powerful man.

Old Fuff
July 1, 2005, 11:29 AM
>> Tejon, where would I go to find some legal quotes and documentation on exactly why these lawsuits are frivolous? <<

El Tejon should answer this, because he is an attorney, and I'm not. But in my view the best evidence is the substantial number of opinions handed down by various courts when they dismissed the lawsuits.

While a few of the original suits may still be pending, those that brought them haven't won a single one.

Baba Louie
July 1, 2005, 11:51 AM
RavenVT100
Check out the NSSF's Litigation page to find their take on the subject (re: frivolous lawsuits + scorecard)
http://www.nssf.org/LL/litigation.cfm?AoI=LL
:neener:
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the "What others are saying about"...
For the opposing side of things, here's VPC's litigation and liability link
http://www.vpc.org/index2.htm#litigate
:cuss:
Hope that helps a little

Bubbles
July 1, 2005, 01:45 PM
Another reason fighting these lawsuits is a priority for the NRA is because most, if not all, of the attorneys and organizations involved in these lawsuits have very close ties to anti-gun groups. They were hoping these lawsuits would provide them with a cash cow, similar to the tobacco lawsuits, that could be used by them in the future to fund future anti-gun legislative efforts throughout the country.

Fortunately it hasn't worked out that way.

Titus
July 1, 2005, 02:25 PM
Given a choice between the lobbying and the sporting stuff, I'd rather have them working on the lobbying. Make sure I can buy guns (for instance, by helping keep gun companies in profitable business) and I'll worry about entertaining myself. I don't think it's a case of having to pick one or the other, but if they're going to focus on one, I'll take lobbying. In the case of the lawsuits, the anti-gunners are using that to get at us, without having to go through Congress, where the NRA does exert more force than the individual companies.

Lemon328i
July 1, 2005, 03:01 PM
I agree that the passage of the protection for manufacturers must be NRA-ILA's top priority. What will you shoot with if the manufacturers are bankrupted by legal fees?

Lawsuits are not filed in the state where the manufacturer is based. They are filed wherever the "grievance" occured. Since manufacturers don't have endless numbers of in-house counsel, they often must contract with lawyers in the places that they are sued. If a single manufacturer has even three concurrent lawsuits, they are shelling out lots of money.

The anti-gun rights/ anti-freedom/ pro-terrorism groups have thus far restricted most of their lawsuits to handgun manufacturers, but the writing is on the wall for producers of rifles and shotguns since every rifle is a "sniper" gun and every shotgun is a "street sweeper".

Until we get a pure "The Second Amendment is an indivdual right" case through the Supreme Court, measures like this one are needed.

Smurfslayer
July 1, 2005, 03:19 PM
won't have anything to buy? :banghead:

Where were the manufacturers for the 10 years of the 'so called assault weapons' ban? They all winked "sure, if you pass this, we'll supply you with unrestricted magazines"... Does Ruger ring a bell? :uhoh: The manufacturers aren't as "lily white" as they're being painted here in that they haven't really been so supportive of shooters.

I'm not saying the bill is bad, only that it shouldn't be job 1. Everybody has their own personal wish list of what gun laws should be changed but none of that will happen while ILA is consumed with lawful commerce...

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