Home > 107th Congressional Bills > H.R. 358 (ih) To authorize appropriations for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 358 (ih) To authorize appropriations for the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

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  1st Session
                                H. R. 357

  To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued 
against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms 
 or ammunition for damages resulting from the misuse of their products 
                               by others.



                            January 27, 2003

 Mr. Everett introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                       Committee on the Judiciary


                                 A BILL

  To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued 
against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms 
 or ammunition for damages resulting from the misuse of their products 
                               by others.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Firearms Heritage Protection Act of 


    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Citizens have a right, under the Second Amendment to 
        the United States Constitution, to keep and bear arms.
            (2) Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers, 
        distributors, dealers, and importers of nondefective firearms, 
        which seek money damages and other relief for the harm caused 
        by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including 
            (3) The manufacture, importation, possession, sale, and use 
        of firearms and ammunition in the United States is heavily 
        regulated by Federal, State, and local laws. Such Federal laws 
        include the Gun Control Act of 1968, the National Firearms Act, 
        and the Arms Export Control Act.
            (4) Businesses in the United States that are engaged in 
        interstate and foreign commerce through the lawful design, 
        marketing, distribution, manufacture, importation, or sale to 
        the public of firearms or ammunition that have been shipped or 
        transported in interstate or foreign commerce are not, and 
        should not be, liable for the harm caused by those who 
        criminally or unlawfully misuse firearm products or ammunition 
            (5) The possibility of imposing liability on an entire 
        industry for harm that is the sole responsibility of others is 
        an abuse of the legal system, erodes public confidence in our 
        Nation's laws, threatens the diminution of a basic 
        constitutional right, invites the disassembly and 
        destabilization of other industries and economic sectors 
        lawfully competing in America's free enterprise system, and 
        constitutes an unreasonable burden on interstate and foreign 
            (6) The liability actions commenced or contemplated by 
        municipalities and cities are based on theories without 
        foundation in hundreds of years of the common law and American 
        jurisprudence. The possible sustaining of these actions by a 
        maverick judicial officer would expand civil liability in a 
        manner never contemplated by the Framers of the Constitution. 
        The Congress further finds that such an expansion of liability 
        would constitute a deprivation of the rights, privileges, and 
        immunities guaranteed to a citizen of the United States under 
        the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are as follows:
            (1) To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, 
        distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition 
        products for the harm caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse 
        of firearm products or ammunition products by others.
            (2) To preserve a citizen's access to a supply of firearms 
        and ammunition for all lawful purposes, including hunting, 
        self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational 
            (3) To guarantee a citizen's rights, privileges, and 
        immunities, as applied to the States, under the Fourteenth 
        Amendment to the United States Constitution, pursuant to 
        section five of that Amendment.


    (a) In General.--A qualified civil liability action may not be 
brought in any Federal or State court.
    (b) Dismissal of Pending Actions.--A qualified civil liability 
action that is pending on the date of the enactment of this Act shall 
be dismissed immediately by the court in which the action was brought.


    In this Act:
            (1) Manufacturer.--The term ``manufacturer'' means, with 
        respect to a qualified product--
                    (A) a person who is engaged in a business to 
                import, make, produce, create, or assemble a qualified 
                product, and who designs or formulates, or has engaged 
                another person to design or formulate, a qualified 
                    (B) a seller of a qualified product, but only with 
                respect to an aspect of the product that is made or 
                affected when the seller makes, produces, creates, or 
                assembles and designs or formulates an aspect of the 
                product made by another person; and
                    (C) any seller of a qualified product who 
                represents to a user of a qualified product that the 
                seller is a manufacturer of the qualified product.
            (2) Person.--The term ``person'' means any individual, 
        corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, 
        joint stock company, or any other entity, including any 
        governmental entity.
            (3) Qualified product.--The term ``qualified product'' 
        means a firearm (as defined in section 921(a)(3) of title 18, 
        United States Code) or ammunition (as defined in section 
        921(a)(17) of such title), or a component part of a firearm or 
        ammunition, that has been shipped or transported in interstate 
        or foreign commerce.
            (4) Qualified civil liability action.--The term ``qualified 
        civil liability action'' means a civil action brought by any 
        person against a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product, 
        or a trade association, for damages resulting from the criminal 
        or unlawful misuse of a qualified product by the person or a 
        third party, but shall not include--
                    (A) an action brought against a transferor 
                convicted under section 924(h) of title 18, United 
                States Code, or a comparable or identical State felony 
                law, by a party directly harmed by the conduct of which 
                the transferee is so convicted; or
                    (B) an action brought against a seller for 
                negligent entrustment or negligence per se.
            (5) Seller.--The term ``seller'' means, with respect to a 
        qualified product, a person who--
                    (A) in the course of a business conducted for that 
                purpose sells, distributes, rents, leases, prepares, 
                blends, packages, labels, or otherwise is involved in 
                placing a qualified product in the stream of commerce; 
                    (B) installs, repairs, refurbishes, reconditions, 
                or maintains an aspect of a qualified product that is 
                alleged to have resulted in damages.
            (6) State.--The term ``State'' includes each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 
        and any other territory or possession of the United States, and 
        any political subdivision of any such place.
            (7) Trade association.--The term ``trade association'' 
        means any association or business organization (whether or not 
        incorporated under Federal or State law) 2 or more members of 
        which are manufacturers or sellers of a qualified product.

Pages: 1

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