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View Full Version : NEWS!!! S.397 passes Congress!! Awaits prez signature...


bwiese
10-20-2005, 9:22 AM
Hoooorah!
When signed this will probably kill most pending BS lawsuits.
This law will likely be challenged but it seems to be well-written.

Bill W
San Jose

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(via Yahoo...)

Congress OKs Gun Industry Lawsuit Shield
By LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Congress gave the gun lobby its top legislative priority Thursday, passing a bill that would protect the firearms industry from massive lawsuits brought by crime victims. The White House says President Bush will sign it into law.

The House voted 283-144 to send the bill to the president after supporters, led by the National Rifle Association, proclaimed it vital to protect the industry from being bankrupted by huge jury awards. Opponents, waging a tough battle against growing public support for the legislation, called it proof of the gun lobby's power over the Republican-controlled Congress.

"This legislation will make the unregulated gun industry the most pampered industry in America," said Kristen Rand, director of the Violence Policy Center.

Under the measure, as many as 20 pending lawsuits by local governments against the industry would be dismissed. The Senate passed the bill in July.

The bill's passage was the NRA's top legislative priority and would give Bush and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill a rare victory at a time when some top GOP leaders are under indictment or investigation.

"Lawsuits seeking to hold the firearms industry responsible for the criminal and unlawful use of its products are brazen attempts to accomplish through litigation what has not been achieved by legislation and the democratic process," House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told his colleagues.

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, did not vote. He is in Texas in connection with his indictment in an alleged scheme to violate state election law.

Propelled by GOP election gains and the incidents of lawlessness associated with the passing of Hurricane Katrina, support for the bill has grown since a similar measure passed the House last year and was killed in the Senate.

Horrific images of people without the protection of public safety in New Orleans made a particular impression on viewers who had never before felt unsafe, according to the gun lobby.

"Americans saw a complete collapse of the government's ability to protect them," said Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's executive vice president.

"That burnt in, those pictures of people standing there defending their lives and defending their property and their family," he added, "where the one source of comfort was a firearm."

With support from four new Republicans this session of Congress, the bill passed the Senate for the first time in July. House passage never was in doubt because it had 257 co-sponsors, far more than the 218 needed to pass.

The bill's authors say it still would allow civil suits against individual parties who have been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing by the courts.

Opponents say the strength of the bill's support is testament to the influence of the gun lobby. If the bill had been law when the relatives of six victims of convicted Washington-area snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo sued the gun dealer from which they obtained their rifle, the dealer would not have agreed to pay the families and victims $2.5 million.

"It is shameful that Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that guarantees their gun-dealing cronies receive special treatment and are above the law," said Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Calif.

Bush has said he supports the bill, which would prohibit lawsuits against the firearms industry for damages resulting from the unlawful use of a firearm or ammunition. Gun makers and dealers still would be subject to product liability, negligence or breach of contract suits, the bill's authors say.

Democrats and Republicans alike court the NRA at election time, and the bill has garnered bipartisan support. But the firearms industry still gave 88 percent of its campaign contributions, or $1.2 million, to Republicans in the 2004 election cycle.

Gun control advocates, meanwhile, gave 98 percent of their contributions, or $93,700, to Democrats that cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The bill is S. 397.
[end]

Charliegone
10-20-2005, 1:30 PM
Bill,

Is this the bill that contains the trigger lock stuff? Or did they manage to take it out. I'm confused on this?

Silverback
10-20-2005, 4:04 PM
:mad: I'll view this a a single finger salute to Willie Clinton and company!:mad:

socalguns
10-20-2005, 5:56 PM
Yes, thats the gun lock/ armor piercing ammunition one

http://www.nraila.org/News/Read/Releases.aspx?ID=6682
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:s.00397:

dwtt
10-20-2005, 6:24 PM
Gunowners of America has pushed the claim that this bill is anti-gun by saying the gun lock admendment pollutes the law to the extent that the entire law should be trashed. I disagree. If gun makers are sued out of business, as the Brady Bunch has attempted to do, we would have no need for gun locks because we wouldn't have any new guns to buy.

Trader Jack
10-20-2005, 6:51 PM
I agree. The "Gun Lock" add on is no big deal.:) :)

bwiese
10-20-2005, 9:09 PM
Sure, the gun lock thing is in effect a tax. Most co's are putting gun locks ON their guns anyway so it may be moot.

Politics is like sausage - you eat it even if you don't wanna know what went on the back room. This wouldn't have been agreed to unless Kohl was somehow able to hinder its passage procedurally so that was his feel-good kiss-off payment.

But the counter situation where gun co's keep getting sued is horrifying. The problem is not losing the suits - it's the continuous attorney's fees, travel of executives to out of area courts for testimony, harassment of distributors, etc. Gun co's are not deep pocket co's like tobacco co's are; the gun industry is relatively 'small potatoes'.


Bill Wiese
San Jose

Charliegone
10-20-2005, 11:09 PM
So in other words the reward is worth it. Well I think I can live with that. If I remember correctly the gun lock only applies to handguns correct? Also no more armor piercing ammo correct.:rolleyes:

esskay
10-20-2005, 11:34 PM
Will this law make retailers like CDNN, etc more willing to sell firearms to California residents? A bunch of stores (with great prices!) won't even sell guns that are LEGAL in Kali because they're afraid of being sued by the state.

artherd
10-20-2005, 11:40 PM
Yay. I think.

saki302
10-21-2005, 1:56 AM
What exactly do they ban regarding AP ammo? You do realize this is a broad sweep- there are many rifles out there which shoot cheap steel core ammo- which could be considered 'AP'. Heck, any rifle is AP as far as soft body armor is concerned- dangerous ground there, IMO.

-Dave

bwiese
10-21-2005, 8:08 AM
Will this law make retailers like CDNN, etc more willing to sell firearms to California residents? A bunch of stores (with great prices!) won't even sell guns that are LEGAL in Kali because they're afraid of being sued by the state.

I don't think this'll change CDNN's stance. It's not too rational anyways; they could be sued anywhere. CDNN may (incorrectly) perceive more paperwork issues too w/CA sales.

They also may have been burned w/noncompliant ("unsafe") handguns being mistakenly ordered in CA and returned and don't wanna deal with the overhead of returns, etc

Bill Wiese
San Jose

just4fun63
10-21-2005, 12:23 PM
So I'm going to get a gun lock with every gun I buy. What am I going to do with that pile of locks?:confused: Is there a safe exemption like in Ca. Overall I think it is good:)


It is nice to win now and then:D

sparrow
10-21-2005, 6:05 PM
i just hope the no armor pirceing ammo tack on doesn't comes back to nip us in the butt. the anti's might try convincing law makers that anything that goes through a police vest is "armor piercing ammo" (ie. large hungun loades & rifle calibers)

my question is what does trigger lock refer to. does this mean all guns are to be sold with a trigger lock (cablelock or removable wrap around type locks) nation wide or do they have to be made with built in lock of some kind.

RRangel
10-21-2005, 6:58 PM
I think the right thing to do was choose H.R. 800 over S.397. It was a clean version of the bill.

Why require trigger locks?

Telpierion
10-21-2005, 7:52 PM
OK, below is the AP ammo part:

SEC. 6. ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION.

(a) Unlawful Acts- Section 922(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking paragraphs (7) and (8) and inserting the following:

`(7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition, unless--

`(A) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the use of the United States, any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State;

`(B) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the purpose of exportation; or

`(C) the manufacture or importation of such ammunition is for the purpose of testing or experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney General;

`(8) for any manufacturer or importer to sell or deliver armor piercing ammunition, unless such sale or delivery--

`(A) is for the use of the United States, any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State;

`(B) is for the purpose of exportation; or

`(C) is for the purpose of testing or experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney General;'.

(b) Penalties- Section 924(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(5) Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided under this subsection, or by any other provision of law, any person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or drug trafficking crime (including a crime of violence or drug trafficking crime that provides for an enhanced punishment if committed by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which the person may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, uses or carries armor piercing ammunition, or who, in furtherance of any such crime, possesses armor piercing ammunition, shall, in addition to the punishment provided for such crime of violence or drug trafficking crime or conviction under this section--

`(A) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years; and

`(B) if death results from the use of such ammunition--

`(i) if the killing is murder (as defined in section 1111), be punished by death or sentenced to a term of imprisonment for any term of years or for life; and

`(ii) if the killing is manslaughter (as defined in section 1112), be punished as provided in section 1112.'.

(c) Study and Report-

(1) STUDY- The Attorney General shall conduct a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against Body Armor is feasible.

(2) ISSUES TO BE STUDIED- The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall include--

(A) variations in performance that are related to the length of the barrel of the handgun or center-fire rifle from which the projectile is fired; and

(B) the amount of powder used to propel the projectile.

(3) REPORT- Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit a report containing the results of the study conducted under this subsection to--

(A) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; and

(B) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.
Passed the Senate July 29, 2005.

I'm definitely no expert. I thought all the stuff in section (a) and (b) was already illegal. I don't know what changed there. Section (c) mandates a study to see if a standard is feasible? I don't see a mandate that the standard be applied or that if applied it would change the legal definition of AP ammo. I guess I'm confused. Can somebody fill in the blanks for me? To me it se4ems we have to waste money on a study that once completed won't have any force behind it. Is it just supposed to be fodder for future action?

Mssr. Eleganté
10-21-2005, 11:43 PM
I don't see any "no more armor piercing ammo" section in S.397.

Armor piercing ammo is still defined the way it has been for years. The AG has been given no new powers to regulate armor piercing ammo.

I think a lot of folks are reading Section 6, part (a) of S.397 and thinking that it is some totally new law that bans armor piercing ammo. But when you compare the new paragraphs 7 and 8 to the current paragraphs 7 and 8 from Section 922(a) of Title 18, you see they are almost identical.

Here is the way the law reads now...

(7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition, except that this paragraph shall not apply to—
(A) the manufacture or importation of such ammunition for the use of the United States or any department or agency thereof or any State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof;
(B) the manufacture of such ammunition for the purpose of exportation; and
(C) any manufacture or importation for the purposes of testing or experimentation authorized by the Attorney General;
(8) for any manufacturer or importer to sell or deliver armor piercing ammunition, except that this paragraph shall not apply to—
(A) the sale or delivery by a manufacturer or importer of such ammunition for use of the United States or any department or agency thereof or any State or any department, agency, or political subdivision thereof;
(B) the sale or delivery by a manufacturer or importer of such ammunition for the purpose of exportation;
(C) the sale or delivery by a manufacturer or importer of such ammunition for the purposes of testing or experimenting authorized by the Attorney General;

And here's the what S.397 changes it to...

(7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing ammunition, unless--

(A) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the use of the United States, any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State;
(B) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the purpose of exportation; or
(C) the manufacture or importation of such ammunition is for the purpose of testing or experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney General;

(8) for any manufacturer or importer to sell or deliver armor piercing ammunition, unless such sale or delivery--

(A) is for the use of the United States, any department or agency of the United States, any State, or any department, agency, or political subdivision of a State;
(B) is for the purpose of exportation; or
(C) is for the purpose of testing or experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney General;

It looks like the only difference is that AP ammo can no longer be imported for government use.

Private individuals can still buy and sell AP ammo amongst themselves.

The term "armor piercing ammunition" still only applies to AP projectiles and still only if they can be used for loading handgun ammunition. Any potential abuse of the definition of AP ammo ( like saying that 7.62 NATO AP is a handgun round ) existed before S.397, so there is no change there.

Charliegone
10-22-2005, 12:23 AM
Whew, well from what we got and what they got, we got the better half.:D