Now this is more like it!

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This encouraging update comes one year after my first of several pieces about gun reform in America. First a recap. In 2004, then Senator Biden, along with Senator Feinstein, fought against allowing the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban to lapse. However, under G.W. Bush, the ban ended, due to the 10-year sunset provision forced into the original law by the pro-gun lobby.

In 2005 Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which prohibits civil liability action in any state or federal court against a manufacturer, seller, or trade association, of a firearm, a component of a firearm, or ammunition, for damages resulting from the unlawful misuse of a firearm. PLCAA passed after aggressive lobbying by the gun industry.

There has been only one successful lawsuit in U.S. history against a gun manufacturer, the $50 million judgment won by 7-year-old shooting victim, Brandon Maxfield (who became quadriplegic after the incident), and his tenacious attorney Richard Ruggieri, who proved an intentional gun defect in the cheap handgun known as the Saturday Night Special. In a 2004 speech, Senator Feinstein directly referenced Maxfield v Bryco.”

Now, after filing a wrongful-death lawsuit, the families of five children and four adults killed seven years ago in the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting reached a $73 million settlement with the now-bankrupt gun maker, Remington, and its four insurers. The families have also “obtained and can make public internal company documents that prove Remington’s wrongdoing.” Remington is the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used in the Newtown, CT massacre killing 20 children and 6 adults. Sandy Hook plaintiff’s attorneys said the PLCAA protections of the gun industry are “not bulletproof,” and their new approach, arguing Remington’s glamorizing militaristic aspects of the rifle, was key.


With a slim Democratic majority in the Senate making Federal legislation difficult, Biden is also taking a new approach to reducing gun crime. It includes stopping the flow of guns and bolstering law enforcement and communinity-based programs. Gun reform in American requires innovation. The gun industry is now on notice.

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