Senator Bernie Sanders recently agreed to co-sponsor a bill repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a 2005 law that shields gun retailers and manufacturers from civil liability. Although Sanders, a front-running Democratic presidential candidate, is taking a more liberal stance on gun control, his voting record is misaligned. In explaining his past support and vote in favor of the PLCAA, Sanders points to provisions in an earlier version of the bill banning the sale of ammunition that pierce policemen’s armor and encouraging gun safety locks to protect children.
The Trace quoted Professor Timothy Lytton in the issue in its January 29 article “Bernie Sanders’s Evolving Position on Gun Industry Immunity Still Has Some Fact-Checking Issues.” Lytton concluded that “Bernie Sanders likely voted for it because he had a lot of pressure from gun rights advocates in his state, not because he thought it would make children safer. It had nothing to do with making children safer.”
Timothy D. Lytton is a Distinguished University Professor and Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law and a member of the Center for Law, Health & Society. His expertise is in the public policy implications of tort litigation. Lytton is the editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts (2005).