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Senate refuses to block gun suits

The House-passed bill (see Feb. 25) that would have protected firearms makers from being held liable for criminals' misuse of guns died last week in the Senate, although endorsed by a substantial majority of members of that body. Why? Well, it seems quite a few Senators had to pretend to like the bill, given its popularity with the voters back home, but in fact were happy to see poison pill amendments attached to it that they knew would lead to its demise. (Edward Epstein, "Gun-liability bill dies in Senate", San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 3). Editorial writers of leading newspapers opposed the lawsuit restrictions with sniffish near-unanimity; it's not as if George Soros were funding a litigation campaign that placed them at risk of bankruptcy, after all. Gun-bias-watcher Alphecca (Mar. 8) finds a few balanced press accounts of the week's doings, but not many. More: another helping from Alphecca. And the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action ran a story last year (Chris W. Cox, "One Big Victory, Now Another Big Battle", May 15, 2003) summarizing the progress of the bill as well as quoting highlights from my, and others', House testimony.

[cross-posted from Overlawyered, where it ran Mar. 12, 2004]

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.