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Bush Signs Bill To Protect Gun Industry From Reckless Lawsuits

Tuesday, May 1, 2001

Florida Continues National Trend, by Becoming 26th State to Adopt Firearms Lawsuit Preemption Legislation (WASHINGTON, DC) -- Continuing a growing national trend, Florida became the 26th state to adopt legislation protecting the firearms industry from reckless lawsuits, as Governor Jeb Bush signed the measure into law this morning. "The Legislature of Florida and Governor Bush have sent a clear message that reckless, harassing lawsuits aimed at bankrupting legitimate American businesses will not be tolerated," said James Jay Baker, executive director of NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "Poll after poll indicates that the vast majority of Americans don't support these types of lawsuits, courts around the country have rejected them, and since 1999, twenty-six states have now provided legislative protection to the industry." Baker noted that the legislative effort to protect American firearms manufacturers against taxpayer-funded lawsuits aimed at bankrupting the industry began when Georgia became the first state to enact such a measure in February 1999. "Clearly, this type of legislation has been a trend at the state level over the last two years," Baker said. "Today, the majority of legislatures and governors recognize that the notion of holding a legitimate manufacturer of a lawful product liable for the criminal misuse of that product is a notion that flies in the face of common sense and our system of jurisprudence." Today's action in Florida represents a major victory, not just for the firearms industry and lawful gun owners, but for all American businesses. "The greedy trial lawyers pushing these suits have already indicated that after driving firearms manufacturers out of business, they intend to move on to other legitimate industries," Baker said. "NRA's 4.3 million members will continue to fight to protect the firearms industry from these vultures who seek to use hard-earned taxpayer dollars to fund their bankrupt-by-lawsuit scheme." States that have previously enacted lawsuit protection legislation are: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Colorado; Georgia; Idaho; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Michigan; Missouri; Montana; Nevada; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Virginia; and Wyoming. Today's news comes as NRA prepares for its upcoming national convention, to be held May 18-20 in Kansas City, Missouri.
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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.