(1)The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
(2)The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of individuals, including those who are not members of a militia or engaged in military service or training, to keep and bear arms.
(3)Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms that operate as designed and intended, which seek money damages and other relief for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including criminals.
(4)The manufacture, importation, possession, sale, and use of firearms and ammunition in the United States are heavily regulated by Federal, State, and local laws. Such Federal laws include the Gun Control Act of 1968, the National Firearms Act [26 U.S.C. 5801 et seq.], and the Arms Export Control Act [22 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.].
(5)Businesses in the United States that are engaged in interstate and foreign commerce through the lawful design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, importation, or sale to the public of firearms or ammunition products that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce are not, and should not, be liable for the harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse firearm products or ammunition products that function as designed and intended.
(6)The possibility of imposing liability on an entire industry for harm that is solely caused by others is an abuse of the legal system, erodes public confidence in our Nation’s laws, threatens the diminution of a basic constitutional right and civil liberty, invites the disassembly and destabilization of other industries and economic sectors lawfully competing in the free enterprise system of the United States, and constitutes an unreasonable burden on interstate and foreign commerce of the United States.
(7)The liability actions commenced or contemplated by the Federal Government, States, municipalities, and private interest groups and others are based on theories without foundation in hundreds of years of the common law and jurisprudence of the United States and do not represent a bona fide expansion of the common law. The possible sustaining of these actions by a maverick judicial officer or petit jury would expand civil liability in a manner never contemplated by the framers of the Constitution, by Congress, or by the legislatures of the several States. Such an expansion of liability would constitute a deprivation of the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed to a citizen of the United States under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
(8)The liability actions commenced or contemplated by the Federal Government, States, municipalities, private interest groups and others attempt to use the judicial branch to circumvent the Legislative branch of government to regulate interstate and foreign commerce through judgments and judicial decrees thereby threatening the Separation of Powers doctrine and weakening and undermining important principles of federalism, State sovereignty and comity between the sister States.
The purposes of this chapter are as follows:
(1)To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.
(2)To preserve a citizen’s access to a supply of firearms and ammunition for all lawful purposes, including hunting, self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational shooting.
(3)To guarantee a citizen’s rights, privileges, and immunities, as applied to the States, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, pursuant to section 5 of that Amendment.
(4)To prevent the use of such lawsuits to impose unreasonable burdens on interstate and foreign commerce.
(5)To protect the right, under the First Amendment to the Constitution, of manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and trade associations, to speak freely, to assemble peaceably, and to petition the Government for a redress of their grievances.
(6)To preserve and protect the Separation of Powers doctrine and important principles of federalism, State sovereignty and comity between sister States.
(7)To exercise congressional power under article IV, section
1 (the Full Faith and Credit Clause) of the United States Constitution.
The Gun Control Act of 1968, referred to in subsec. (a)(4), is Pub. L. 90–618, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1213, as amended. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section
921 of Title
18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, and Tables.
The National Firearms Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(4), is classified generally to chapter 53 (§ 5801 et seq.) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code. See section
5849 of Title
The Arms Export Control Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(4), is Pub. L. 90–629, Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1320, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 39 (§ 2751 et seq.) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section
2751 of Title
22 and Tables.
This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 109–92, Oct. 26, 2005, 119 Stat. 2095, known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out below and Tables.
Pub. L. 109–92, § 1,Oct. 26, 2005, 119 Stat. 2095, provided that: “This Act [enacting this chapter, amending sections
924 of Title
18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure, and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections
922 of Title
18] may be cited as the ‘Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act’.”
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.
Description of Change
Statutes at Large
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