Civil Liability of Gun Manufacturers for Gun Crimes?
Of course not.
Joe Biden thinks so:
Hold gun manufacturers accountable. In 2005, then-Senator Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, but gun manufacturers successfully lobbied Congress to secure its passage. This law protects these manufacturers from being held civilly liable for their products – a protection granted to no other industry. Biden will prioritize repealing this protection.
The sentence I italicized is false, as you can see from the following summary of the Act. It is a willful, politically motivated misrepresentation. The manufacturers remain civilly liable for product defects, just like other industries. What the act prevents is solely their being held liable for "criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm."
Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act - (Sec. 3) Prohibits a qualified civil liability action from being brought in any state or federal court against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm, ammunition, or a component of a firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or against a trade association of such manufacturers or sellers, for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, penalties, or other relief resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm. Requires pending actions to be dismissed. [emphasis added.]
The Act is reasonable and Democrat opposition to it is the opposite, as I now argue.
Suppose I sell you my car, transferring title to you in a manner that accords with all the relevant statutes. It is a good-faith transaction and I have no reason to suspect you of harboring any criminal intent. But later you use the car I sold you to mow down children on a school yard, or to violate the Mann Act, or to commit some other crime. Would it be right to hold me morally responsible for your wrongdoing? Of course not. No doubt, had I not sold you that particular car, that particular criminal event would not have occurred: as a philosopher might put it, the event is individuated by its constituents, one of them being the car I sold you. That very event could not have occurred without that very car. But that does not show that I am responsible for your crime. I am no more responsible than the owner of the gas station who sold you the fuel that you used for your spree.
Suppose I open a cheesecake emporium, and you decide to make cheesecake your main dietary item. Am I responsible for your ensuing health difficulties? Of course not. Being a nice guy, I will most likely warn you that a diet consisting chiefly of cheesecake is contraindicated. But in the end, the responsibility for your ill health lies with you.
The same goes for tobacco products, cheeseburgers, and so on down the line. The responsibility for your drunk driving resides with you, not with auto manufacturers or distilleries. Is this hard to understand? Not unless you are morally obtuse or a ‘progressive.’ terms that in the end may be coextensive.
The principle extends to gun manufacturers and retailers. They have their legal responsibilities, of course. They are sometimes the legitimate targets of product liability suits. But once a weapon has been legally purchased or otherwise acquired, the owner alone is responsible for any crimes he commits using it.
But many so-called liberals don't see it this way. What they cannot achieve through gun control legislation, they hope to achieve through frivolous lawsuits. The haven't had much success recently. Good. But the fact that they try shows how bereft of common sense and basic decency they are.
Don't expect them to give up. Hillary was in full-fury mode on this one. According to the BBC, "She proposes abolishing legislation that protects gun makers and dealers from being sued by shooting victims." Biden follows in her footsteps.
There is no wisdom on the Left. The very fact that there is any discussion at all of what ought to be a non-issue shows how far we've sunk in this country.