The House of Representatives approved legisaltion today that gives the U.S. gun industry sweeping protection from civil lawsuits, Reuters reports. The “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms” bill passed with bipartisan support, 283 to 144. The Senate has already passed the legislation, and the White House backs it. The legislation would provide broad immunity from civil lawsuits filed by dozens of cities and municipalities against gun makers, dealers, and distributors. It would also make lawsuits much harder for individuals harmed by guns.
“I think the air is out of the gun control balloon, and I think what popped the balloon is politics and elections,” said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. He predicted that several dozen Democrats would join most Republicans in backing the legislation. The Brady Campaign, which favors gun control, said it would challenge the legislation’s constitutionality in court. Dennis Henigan of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project said, “This shameful law will not stand. We will challenge the constitutionality of this special interest extravaganza in every court where the rights of gun violence victims are being threatened.”