Perhaps there is no way to prevent evil men from killing innocent people, but there is a way of making those who profit from these killings pay monetary damages to the victims. It’s called tort law. Unfortunately, however, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), signed into law on 26 October 2005, protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. Given that the U.S. now has a domestic terrorism problem, isn’t it time for the Congress to at least consider repealing this grotesque piece of special-interest legislation? In the alternative, couldn’t a State court simply declare the PLCAA unconstitutional? After all, tort law is by and large the domain of the States, so what constitutional authority does the Congress have under Article I to immunize an entire industry from legal liability under a State’s tort law? (Congress is not really regulating commerce under the PLCAA; it is shielding an entire industry from playing by the same rules of tort law as other industries.)
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