Hillary Clinton has castigated Bernie Sanders for voting for a federal statute that she says provides “absolute immunity” to firearms manufacturers. [ ... ] Her claims must be a surprise to the handgun manufacturer Taurus, which has agreed to pay up to $30 million (plus $9 million in attorneys’ fees) to settle a class action involving allegedly defective Taurus handguns.
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As a Yale Law School graduate who served in the Senate and who voted against the proposed statute, Clinton would presumably know the statute’s content. It is difficult to understand why she continues to make inaccurate claims about “absolute immunity.” In this post, I will describe what the statute actually does and the concerns that led to its enactment.
  • Enactment:
  • Parallel state legislation:
  • Background from the 1980s:
  • Background from the turn of the century:
  • The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act’s provisions: Codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-7903
  • Lawsuits subsequent to the enactment of the PLCAA:
  • Analogous laws for other industries:
  • National defense implications:
  • International effect: