BELLEVUE, WA – Passage today by the US Senate of legislation to protect the firearms industry from politically-motivated junk lawsuits is a “good first step” toward sensible reform of this country’s tort laws, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

“The Senate has acted responsibly in an effort to stop frivolous legal actions that have been mounted over the past few years by anti-gun rights politicians to deliberately bankrupt legitimate firearms manufacturers,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan M. Gottlieb. “These legal actions, backed by extremists in the gun control lobby, have no other purpose than to financially devastate the gun industry, and opponents of this legislation know it.”

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act protects gun manufacturers and retailers from harassment lawsuits that seek to hold them responsible for crimes committed by people who illegally use guns. The firearms industry has spent more than $225 million to defend against these legal actions.

“Gun makers and law-abiding gun dealers should not be held responsible for unforeseen criminal acts committed by third parties,” Gottlieb said. “In an industry that is already highly regulated, in which the end consumer cannot even legally purchase a firearm without first passing a background check, allowing these predatory lawsuits to continue unabated not only threatens the health of the industry, but the rights of law-abiding citizens to buy the firearms they are Constitutionally guaranteed to keep and bear.

“We were appalled at the attempts by a cadre prominent of anti-gun Democrats to submit and support a series of killer amendments designed to derail this important legislation,” Gottlieb said. “All they did was show the nation once again that, despite the rhetoric over the past year by people like John Kerry, Charles Schumer, Jack Reed and others claiming to support gun rights, it is all too clear that these people want to cripple the gun industry as a means of ultimately legislating lawful gun ownership out of existence.

“Gun owners across the nation deserve congratulations for mounting a strong grassroots effort to get this legislation through the Senate,” Gottlieb concluded. “Now is the time for them to redirect that energy toward the House of Representatives, where the bill will be considered this fall.”