Democratic lawmakers have reintroduced legislation that would allow victims of gun violence to sue firearms manufacturers in court, and Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) isn’t too thrilled about it.
On Tuesday, Democrats in both the House and the Senate reintroduced the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would repeal the protections provided in a 2005 law — the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act — that gave those who manufacture and sell firearms and ammunition legal protection in gun crime lawsuits.
“It’s time to hold the gun industry accountable,” Schiff said in a Facebook post. “Under state and federal law, we require every other industry, like car makers and drug companies, to act with reasonable care for public safety.”
The reintroduction of the bill did not sit well with Green — a freshman congressman and former Army major — who told IJR Red in a statement that pursuing legal action against gun manufacturers for firearm-related deaths would be “like suing the car manufacturers” after a “drunk driver kills someone.”
“Suing the gun manufacturers is like suing the car manufacturers when a drunk driver kills someone,” Green said. “The tragic loss of life is not avenged or made whole in any way by wrongly attacking the manufacturers who produce guns or cars that the vast majority of the public uses with safety and responsibility.”
Green’s comments echo those of Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, who told NPR that the bill was “fundamentally unfair” and that his organization “will certainly oppose this legislation.”
“You would no more charge or blame Ford or General Motors for drunk driving accidents,” Keane said.
The measure is expected to hit a legislative roadblock in the Republican-controlled Senate, which would be unlikely to take up the measure.
The topic of gun control has garnered more national attention as some of the Democratic presidential primary candidates bring the issue more into the campaign spotlight.
Booker has called for a licensing requirement for all gun owners and for a ban on “assault weapons,” while Swalwell has proposed a mandatory gun buyback program similar to New Zealand’s and said that he would arrest those who did not comply with it.