1 (September 5, 2003)

handle is hein.crs/crsuntaaayg0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 
                                                               Order Code RS21486
                                                         Updated September 5, 2003



 CRS Report for Congress

              Received through the CRS Web



 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,

 H.R. 1036 and S. 659, 108th Congress: Legal
                              Analysis

                              Henry Cohen
                           Legislative Attorney
                         American Law Division

Summary


     The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, H.R. 1036, 108'h Congress, as
 passed by the House on April 9, 2003, would prohibit lawsuits, except in specified
 circumstances, against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition, or a trade
 association, for damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm or
 ammunition. A similar bill, S. 659, has been introduced in the Senate, and, except
 where indicated in a footnote, every statement in this report about H.R. 1036 also
 applies to S. 659.

    This report examines H.R. 1036, 108'h Congress, as ordered to be reported by the
House Committee on the Judiciary on April 3, 2003, and passed by the House without
amendment on April 9, 2003. H.R. 1036, titled the Protection of Lawful Commerce in
Arms Act, would prohibit lawsuits, except in specified circumstances, against a
manufacturer or seller of a firearm or ammunition, or a trade association, for damages
resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm or ammunition. The bill
would also require that pending lawsuits brought by shooting victims and municipalities
be immediately dismissed by the court in which the action was brought or is currently
pending.' Among the circumstances when the bill would permit a lawsuit to be brought
or to continue would be when the defendant violated 18 U.S.C.  924(h) by transferring
a firearm, knowing that it would be used to commit a crime of violence or a drug
trafficking crime.

    The bill's findings state that it is an abuse of the legal system to hold defendants
liable for harm caused by those who criminally or unlawfully misuse firearm products
or ammunition products that function as designed and intended. A cosponsor of the bill
said, We're trying to stop making public policy through the courts with these nuisance



1 The words or is currently pendingare not in S. 659.


       Congressional Research Service *** The Library of Congress

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