October 14, 2015
By Walter Olson
It came up again at last night’s Democratic debate, so it’s worth repeating: Bernie Sanders and more than 60 other Democrats in Congress were right to support the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), and Hillary Clinton was wrong to oppose it.
Congress had both good practical reason and Constitutional authority to enact PLCAA. Its purpose and effect was to call a halt to the campaign (backed by the administration of Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband) to launch financially ruinous litigation against firearms makers and dealers – most of them thinly capitalized firms unable to withstand massive legal bills – and apply the resulting leverage to extract promises of gun control without the bother of seeking approval for those measures from a then-skeptical U.S. Congress. It was a campaign rightly decried as undemocratic even by such figures of the Left as former cabinet secretary Robert Reich. It was also a travesty of legal ethics, employing litigation as a pure weapon; thus then-HUD secretary Andrew Cuomo warned gunmakers that unless they cooperated they’d suffer “death by a thousand cuts”, while then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reportedly warned Glock: “If you do not sign, your bankruptcy lawyers will be knocking at your door.”
Read the full article at the Cato Institute: Bernie Was Right, and Hillary Wrong, on Gun-Lawsuit Bill