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Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:30 AM

Why Isn't The Media Discussing The Unprecedented Law Giving Gun Makers And Dealers Immunity? [View all]

As major media outlets report on gun violence prevention strategies in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, they have ignored a controversial law that shields the firearms industry from being held accountable.

In 2005, former President George W. Bush signed into law the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act - the "No. 1 legislative priority of the National Rifle Association" - which immunized gun makers and dealers from civil lawsuits for the crimes committed with the products they sell, a significant barrier to a comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy. Despite its recent reporting on proposed efforts to prevent another tragedy like the one in Newtown, major newspapers and evening television news have not explained this significant legal immunity, according to a Media Matters search of Nexis.

Faced with an increasing number of successful lawsuits over reckless business practices that funneled guns into the hands of criminals, the 2005 immunity law was a victory for the NRA, which "lobbied lawmakers intensely" to shield gun makers and dealers from personal injury law. As described by Erwin Chemerinsky, a leading constitutional scholar and the Dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law, by eliminating this route for victims to hold the gun industry accountable in court, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was a complete deviation from basic "principles of products liability":.....more

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/12/19/why-isnt-the-media-discussing-the-unprecedented/191910

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