GOA to SCOTUS: Firearm Manufacturers are not Responsible for the Deeds of a Madman

September 5, 2019
For immediate release

GOA to SCOTUS:  Firearm Manufacturers are not Responsible for the Deeds of a Madman

Springfield, VA —Gun Owners of America (GOA) has filed an Amici Curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court urging the High Court to reaffirm a federal law which gives firearms manufacturers and dealers protection from lawsuits seeking to hold them responsible for crimes committed by third parties.

In 2005, Congress enacted the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), and this law worked well for many years in preventing lawsuits seeking to financially ruin firearms manufacturers and dealers.  Supported by many of the anti-gun organizations that opposed PLCAA, these suits seek to achieve back-door gun control, by running firearms companies out of business.

Although other Courts — including the famously liberal Ninth Circuit — have properly applied the PLCAA, the Connecticut Supreme Court, by a 4 to 3 vote, turned that law on its head to allow plaintiffs a way to sue Remington and others for the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The Connecticut Court repeatedly characterized the AR-15 type weapon used as militaristic and dangerous, even though it is one of the most popular rifles made and sold today. The Connecticut Court found offensive certain standard advertisements for the rifle used in the shooting, which highlighted the power of these rifles, claiming that these ads somehow caused the shootings to occur.

“This case involves a flagrantly erroneous state court interpretation of an important federal statute which protects the People’s exercise of the constitutionally enumerated right to keep and bear arms,” the brief states. “Left uncorrected, this one errant decision will impair significantly the finances of companies in the firearms business, and second, infringe the exercise of the Second Amendment’s inherent right of all Americans to keep and bear arms.”

Erich Pratt, senior vice president of GOA said, “GOA and our two million members and supporters urge the Supreme Court to take up this case. Just as we don’t punish car manufacturers for the deeds of a drunk driver, we shouldn’t punish a firearm manufacturer for the deeds of a madman. Furthermore, firearms are used overwhelming used for good — as tools to save life.”

GOA was joined in this brief by its legal arm, Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), The Heller Foundation, and a number of other pro-gun organizations.

The brief can be read here.

Erich Pratt, or another GOA spokesperson, is available for interviews. Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over two million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Press Center.