CLAIM: During the March 15, 2020, CNN/Univision Democrat debate, Joe Biden criticized Bernie Sanders’ support of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), claiming gun makers enjoy complete immunity from lawsuits because of it.
VERDICT: False. The PLCAA is designed to shield gun makers only in instances in which the gun in question was lawfully made and lawfully sold.
Sanders voted for the PLCAA, which was signed into law by George W. Bush. Biden has been running on the repeal of that law throughout his current campaign.
During Sunday’s debate, Biden accused Sanders of “voting to exempt the gun industry from being able to be sued.” However, PLCAA does not exempt gun makers from all lawsuits. Rather, it is designed to shield gun makers from frivolous suits.
A summary of the PLCCA legislation published at GovTrack.com explained that the PLCCA still allowed that “manufacturers and dealers … be held liable for damages resulting from defective products, breach of contract, criminal misconduct, and other actions for which they are directly responsible in much the same manner that any U.S.-based manufacturer of consumer products is held responsible.”
But Biden consistently presents the PLCCA as giving gun makers a degree of immunity no other company enjoys.
On October 5, 2019, Breitbart News reported Biden’s comments at the MSNBC/Gabby Giffords/March for Our Lives gun control forum, wherein he said if he could be given a “wish list” for gun control, the first thing he would do is repeal the PLCAA. He intimated that gun makers have immunity, saying, “No other outfit in history has gotten this kind of protection,” and he pledged that suits against gun makers would change the gun climate “overnight.”
On February 24, 2020, Biden went even further by calling out gun manufacturers and saying, “I”m going to take you down.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.