Washington, D.C., July 21, 2022 - Today, Brady applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee for favorably reporting the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act (H.R. 2814) to the full House of Representatives for a vote. Brady urges the House to pass this important legislation without delay.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“Since 2005, PLCAA has been leveraged to deny countless victims and survivors of gun violence their day in court. That is both unjust and unfair; it cannot stand. Congress has a responsibility to repeal this damaging and un-American law, particularly given that President Biden has already stated that this is among his top priorities. The gun industry wrote and pushed this law, it is far past time for Congress to undo that wrong and protect the American people, not gun manufacturers and dealers.”
Brady Chief Counsel and Vice President of Legal Jonathan Lowy shared:
“If the U.S. is to end our gun violence epidemic, we must regulate and hold the gun industry accountable as we do for every industry. Repealing the gun industry’s special protection from civil liability is a critical part of ending this public health crisis. Victims of gun industry negligence should not be treated as second class citizens, and irresponsible gun companies should not be above the law.”
Brady California’s Loren Lieb, MPH, shared:
“My family’s lawsuit on behalf of our son and victims of the 1999 attack on the Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills against American firearms manufacturers was blocked by PLCAA, but allowed to move forward against international defendants. That is the stark injustice of this law. It does not “fairly” protect an industry, it arbitrarily prevents victims and survivors from gun violence from having their day in court. It stops American firearms manufacturers and dealers from facing any accountability or liability for their actions, even though their negligence and willful misconduct has foreseeably led to hundreds of thousands deaths and injuries.”
About the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA):
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is a federal law that provides the gun industry with special protections from civil lawsuits, at the expense of victims of gun violence who would otherwise be entitled to compensation for the damages they have suffered. PLCAA removes key incentives for the gun industry to adopt life-saving business practices and instead provides cover to irresponsible gun dealers who supply the criminal gun market. This small minority of gun dealers profits from dangerous business practices with no accountability to their victims. No other American industry enjoys such sweeping protections from civil liability.
Since PLCAA was enacted, Brady has fought to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable when their statutory violations contribute to gun trafficking and gun crime. Brady and the law firm Perkin Coie currently represent the City of Gary in the nation’s last remaining city lawsuit against the gun industry. This case has the potential to reform the industry’s high risk business practices and prevent the flow of illegal guns into the communities most impacted by gun violence.
About the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act (H.R. 2814):
Introduced in April 2021 by Representative Adam Schiff, this bill repeals the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The bill also clarifies that firearms trace data maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is not immune from legal process and is therefore subject to discovery; admissible as evidence; and may be used, relied on, or disclosed in a civil action or administrative proceeding.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.