The Wall Street Journal editorial page celebrates the likelihood that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act will pass, which would end the gun-control-through-litigation movement.
State legislatures have been rolling back firearm laws because the restrictions were both ineffectual and unpopular. Gun-controllers have responded by avoiding legislatures and going to court, teaming with trial lawyers and big city mayors to file lawsuits blaming gun makers for murder. Companies have been hit with at least 25 major lawsuits, from the likes of Boston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Chicago and Cleveland. A couple of the larger suits (New York and Washington, D.C.) are sitting in front of highly creative judges and could drag on for years.
Which seems to be part of the point. The plaintiffs have asked judges to impose the sort of “remedies” that Congress has refused to impose, such as trigger locks or tougher restrictions on gun sales. Some mayors no doubt also hope for a big payday. But short of that, the gun-control lobby’s goal seems to be keep the suits going long enough to drain profit from the low-margin gun industry.
(Wall Street Journal, Jul. 27 ($)). Democratic Senator John D. Rockefeller IV yesterday became the sixtieth co-sponsor. Still, the Journal may be celebrating prematurely. Last term, the legislation was scuttled by the attachment of clever poison-pill amendments that caused the most fervent guns-rights advocates to withdraw support for the bill, so the fact that the current bill has supermajority support surprisingly doesn’t mean that it’s out of the woods yet. For more, see our ongoing coverage.