In the wake of mass shootings that swept the country earlier this year, Democrats including President Joe Biden issued renewed calls for gun manufacturers to be held liable for gun-related injuries and deaths. And in that regard, they just suffered a devastating blow.
According to the Washington Examiner, the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act — legislation that provides liability protection for gun manufacturers — was upheld by an Arizona-based federal judge in a lawsuit filed by an anti-gun group against Glock, one of the top firearms makers in the world, over a 2018 incident that left a man paralyzed.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich ruled in favor of upholding the liability protection for Glock as a result of a lawsuit filed against the gun-maker by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on behalf of Carlos Travieso Jr., who was paralyzed by a gunshot wound in 2018 after being accidentally shot by another person riding in the same vehicle.
That person reportedly found a Glock handgun in the vehicle, and because there wasn’t a magazine inside the handgun, they reportedly pulled the trigger, which resulted in Travieso’s catastrophic injury.
Lawyers for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence argued that the Glock handgun lacked sufficient safety and warning measures to indicate that the gun had a round in the chamber and fired even though there was no magazine inserted.
Even though the pistol does, in fact, have a warning indicator showing that a round is chambered, the anti-gun group insisted in the lawsuit that it wasn’t enough and that other warnings or safety measures should have been in place.
Glock’s legal defense team argued that the gun manufacturer was protected from liability in that particular situation because it was technically labeled as a criminal act, which is covered under the 2005 legislation.
Gun rights groups praise the ruling
Mark Oliva, the spokesman for the industry trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation, issued a statement after the federal judge issued the ruling in March, saying that it was a massive win for the firearms industry.
“The dismissal of this case is welcome news and demonstrates the importance of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” Olivia said, suggesting that those who pursue such lawsuits are attempting to influence legislative maneuvers through lawsuits, according to the Examiner.
“These attempts to hold manufacturers responsible for the criminal and negligent misuse of firearms are misguided and are attempts at legislation through litigation,” Olivia added.
Biden, for his part, has repeatedly pledged to work with Congress to strip gun manufacturers of the 2005 law that provides the liability shield, even recently saying that if the “Lord” granted him one wish off of his gun control checklist, removing that liability shield would be at the top.
Though it’s unlikely that Biden and his Democratic allies in Congress could gather the support needed to strip such an important law from the books, they’ll likely continue to try, which is why it’s so monumentally important that Republicans score a majority victory in the 2022 midterm elections.