Week in Review 11-15-2019

Sometimes the cases the Supreme Court chooses not to hear are as important as the cases they decide to hear. This week the high court decided not hear a case against gun manufacturer Remington Arms.

This is a legal victory for the Sandy Hook families, who originally brought the lawsuit. These families will now have their day in court. Gun manufacturers will no longer be shielded from legal action

Remington Arms manufactured the AR-15 used at the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. The families brought the suit because the company used "militaristic and hyper-masculine advertising" and utilized product placement in videos to appeal to younger, at-risk males. 

Gun manufacturers have been excluded from regulation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for more than 40 years. In 2005 Congress passed legislation, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, (PLCAA), which further buffered the gun industry. The bill grants broad immunity to gun-makers and dealers from prosecution over crimes committed with their products.

PLCAA was introduced at the behest of the NRA, which feared financial consequences from lawsuits. The NRA said, at the time, PLCAA's passage was "historic." Since then, only two lawsuits against the gun industry have survived pretrial efforts to dismiss.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reintroduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act to ensure that the gun industry, including manufacturers, sellers and special interest groups, is not shielded from liability when it acts with negligence and disregard for public safety. The bill (H.R. 3214 and S.B. 1779) would repeal PLCAA.

"It's time to let the gun lobby know that they no longer own Congress the way they used to and they won't be held to a special standard any longer," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).

We can also send a message to NRA in November when we help send JAC candidates to Congress that are committed to passing gun safety legislation. Elections have consequences. 

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Sources: Center for American Progress,  Washington Post