What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Firearms Industry : S. 1805. Gun Industry Liability/Vote to Allow Victims of Gun Violence to Bring Suit in Cases Alleging Negligence or Recklessness on the Part of the Gun Industry.
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S. 1805. Gun Industry Liability/Vote to Allow Victims of Gun Violence to Bring Suit in Cases Alleging Negligence or Recklessness on the Part of the Gun Industry.
senate Roll Call 29     Mar 02, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

The subject of this vote was an amendment offered by Senator Levin (D-MI) during debate on the gun industry liability bill, a bill to prohibit civil liability lawsuits from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages resulting from negligence on the part of the gun industry. More specifically, Levin's amendment would have made an exemption in the underlying legislation to allow victims of gun violence to bring a civil lawsuit against a gun manufacturer or dealer if the plaintiff can prove negligence or recklessness on the part of a gunmaker or vendor and show that the alleged negligence was a proximate cause of injury or death. Progressives voted in favor of Levin's amendment based on their belief that negligent gunmakers and dealers should be held accountable for negligent actions that contribute to gun violence. The underlying bill, Progressives argued, would restrict lawsuits against the gun industry to only those cases involving alleged violations of federal gun laws; negligent or reckless actions by gunmakers and dealers would be legally shielded from lawsuits. In the view of Progressives, negligence on the part of the gun industry-such as Bull's Eye Shooter Supply's inability to account for hundreds of sold, lost, or stolen firearms which were once in its possession (one of which fell into the hands of the D.C. snipers)-should not be immunized from lawsuits. Conservatives voted against Levin's amendment as a way to protect the gun industry from what they characterized as frivolous lawsuits. Gun manufacturers and dealers, Conservatives argued, should not be held responsible for the criminal actions of others. Senator Craig (R-ID) motioned to table (strike down) the Levin amendment, a motion which Progressives opposed based on their support for Levin's proposal. But, on a 56-41 vote, the motion to table was adopted, Levin's amendment fell, and the underlying gun industry liability bill was not amended to allow lawsuits alleging negligence or recklessness on the part of the gun industry.

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