The recent mass shooting in Las Vegas was a tragic reminder that we are never going to address the epidemic of gun violence in our country without breaking the gun lobby’s control of Congress.
Fortunately, three Democrats – Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Adam Schiff – have introduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would revoke the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), the law that gives the gun industry legal immunity for negligence that leads to gun-related violence and death.1 We need to put massive pressure on the NRA’s Republican lapdogs and make it impossible for them to ignore this bill.
Gun manufacturers and gun dealers are the only industries in America that are protected from lawsuits when their products lead to violence and death.2 That’s not by accident. The NRA pushed its lackeys in Congress to pass the PLCAA in 2005. The Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act would repeal the PLCAA and allow victims of gun violence to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable when their negligence leads to death.
The PLCAA is an appalling example of an industry using its money and lobbying power to subvert our judicial system. The courts should decide when and how companies are held accountable when their products lead to harm, and that process should be available to everyone. It isn’t the job of Congress to decide who’s allowed to pursue justice in our courts – especially if it’s driven by a political desire to reward gun lobbyists with deep pockets.
The one-sided gift to the gun industry would never have passed if Congress was not deeply in the pockets of the NRA. Can you demand that our elected officials prioritize their constituents over the gun lobby and repeal the PLCAA now?
Recently we, along with progressive allies, delivered more than 1 million petition signatures to key Republican leaders demanding that Congress act on gun control. It is clear that the National Rifle Association is feeling the pressure.
Its leaders just made a calculated, cynical nod to gun control by suggesting that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should review the legality of bump stocks, which allowed the perpetrator of the Las Vegas massacre to use his semi-automatic weapons like automatic ones.3 It is a craven attempt to help their tarnished image and distract from the massive public demand that Congress finally act. We cannot let them get away with it.
It is time to put relentless pressure on Congress to break its blind allegiance to the gun lobby. We must demand that our elected representatives repeal the PLCAA and restore gun victims’ access to our justice system so that the gun industry can be held accountable when their negligence leads to violence and death in our communities.
Tell Congress to reverse this terrible mistake and spend its time reducing gun violence instead of handing the gun industry special privileges. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thank you for your activism,
Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Russell Blair, “As Promised, Connecticut Democrats Introduce Gun Control Bills,” Hartford Courant, Oct. 5, 2017.
2. Center for American Progress, “Immunizing the Gun Industry,” Jan. 15, 2016.
3. Addie Baird, “How the NRA and the far-right are quietly mobilizing to kill gun safety reform after Vegas,” ThinkProgress, Oct. 5, 2017