Four prominent mayors warned today in a newspaper opinion piece that Congress is about to approve legislation “that would undercut the ability of local governments to hold the gun industry accountable for its role in flooding our cities with guns.”
The mayors are Michael Bloomberg of New York, Richard Daley of Chicago, James Hahn of Los Angeles and Scott King of Gary, Ind.
They wrote in the New York Times, “The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act would shield irresponsible firearms manufacturers, wholesalers, dealers and trade associations from any form of civil liability in cases in which they recklessly or negligently supply firearms to criminals.”
The bill, approved by the House last April, is being considered in the Senate. It was proposed in response to a spate of two dozen lawsuits filed against gun manufacturers by cities and counties.
The mayors wrote, “We do not advocate suing manufacturers in all instances when an incident involving a gun causes harm or injury. But shouldn’t we be able to sue manufacturers and suppliers when they act with wanton disregard for the safety of our neighborhoods?
“By immunizing gun manufacturers against civil liability, the bill would remove much of their legal incentive to behave responsibly. It would encourage bad manufacturers to remain bad and good manufacturers to become lax.”
Meanwhile, the Times news pages reported that the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) is pushing for a vote on the bill this week.