Amid a string of deadly shootings early in his administration, President Joe Biden made it clear that gun control would be a major policy priority during his first term in office, but a recent court ruling represents a serious setback to one of his key aims.
According to the Washington Examiner, a federal judge in Arizona issued a ruling upholding liability immunity for gun makers granted by the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), contrary to President Joe Biden’s expressed wish that the opposite outcome would be reached.
U. S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich found in favor of noted firearms manufacturer Glock in the case of Travieso v. Glock, Inc. In her decision, she dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun violence on behalf of a man who was paralyzed when a gun made by the company was accidentally discharged, striking him unexpectedly.
The judge’s opinion marks an encouraging vindication for proponents of the Second Amendment, with the judge pointing out in her written decision that similar challenges to gun-maker liability immunity have previously been rejected by liberal Appeals Court panels.
National Shooting Sports Foundation spokesperson Mark Oliva heralded the outcome in the case, opining, “The dismissal of this case is welcome news and demonstrates the importance of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.”
“These attempts to hold manufacturers responsible for the criminal and negligent misuse of firearms are misguided and are attempts at legislation through litigation,” said, Oliva, who added, “The PLCAA law was passed with a bipartisan majority in both chambers of Congress to keep activists from attempting to bankrupt firearm manufacturers by tying them up in court with unfounded claims.”
Judge Brnovich issued her decision in the case back in March, but it is making headlines now due to growing calls from the Democrats for new, stronger gun control measures, including an expressed desire to bring an end to liability immunity for firearms manufacturers.
After taking office earlier this year, Biden wrongly declared that gun manufacturing “is the only industry in America” that enjoys exemption from lawsuits, also saying, “If I get one thing on my list [if] the Lord came down and said, ‘Joe, you get one of these,’ give me that one, as the Examiner noted, a likely indication of the frustration the administration felt once the ruling in this matter was handed down.
Biden has already pledged to fight hard for what he refers to as “commensense steps” to bolster gun control in this country – including enacting a ban on “assault weapons” – but only time will tell whether the Democrats will be able to push such an agenda through Congress with their extremely precarious, and hopefully short-lived, hold on power.