Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a United States law which protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products. However, both manufacturers and dealers can still 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 are held responsible. They may also be held liable for negligence when they have reason to know a gun is intended for use in a crime.
The PLCAA is codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-7903.
After years of unsuccessful attempts to legislate gun control, proponents of gun control attempted to coerce gun manufacturers and dealers into voluntarily implementing some measures to avoid lawsuits that could put them out of business.
In 2000 Smith and Wesson, facing several state and federal lawsuits, signed an agreement brokered by President Bill Clinton, in which the company voluntarily agreed to implementing various measures in order to settle the suits. The agreement required Smith and Wesson to only sell guns through dealers that complied with the restrictions on all guns sold regardless of manufacturer, thus potentially having a much wider potential impact than just Smith and Wesson.
HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo was quoted as saying that gun manufacturers that did not comply would suffer "death by a thousand cuts", and Eliott Spitzer said that those who didn't cooperate would have bankruptcy lawyers "knocking at your door". 
It was signed into law on October 26, 2005, by President George W. Bush and became Public Law 109-92. The National Rifle Association thanked President Bush for signing the Act, for which it had lobbied, describing it as, "...the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in twenty years into law."
Since the law's passage, there have been two cases taken to a jury trial for damages. In the first, a jury found in favor of a gun store in Alaska after a gun purchased by Jason Coday was used in a murder. The second resulted in a six million dollar verdict against Badger Guns after guns negligently sold there were used to shoot police officers.
The Brady Center and families of victims of the Aurora shooting sued Lucky Gunner, the online store where some of the weapons and ammunition were purchased. Federal judge Richard Paul Matsch dismissed the charges.  He ordered the plaintiffs to pay Lucky Gunner's legal fees under a separate Colorado law, HB 000-208.
After the 2012 Aurora, Colorado and Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting incidents, a renewed effort has been mounted to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to make it possible for victims of gun violence to sue firearms manufacturers and dealers on a broader array of grounds.
Hillary Clinton stated that she would repeal the law if elected saying "They are the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability. They can sell a gun to someone they know they shouldn't, and they won't be sued. There will be no consequences."
Bernie Sanders, who as a senator voted for the law in 2005, defended the law saying "If somebody has a gun and it falls into the hands of a murderer and the murderer kills somebody with a gun, do you hold the gun manufacturer responsible? Not any more than you would hold a hammer company responsible if somebody beats somebody over the head with a hammer."
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