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S. 397 (109th): 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 is held responsible. They may also be held liable for negligent entrustment 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.

This summary is from Wikipedia.

Last updated Oct 11, 2018. Source: Wikipedia

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Oct 26, 2005.

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act - (Sec. 3) Prohibits a qualified civil liability action from being brought in any state or federal court against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm, ammunition, or a component of a firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or against a trade association of such manufacturers or sellers, for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, penalties, or other relief resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm. Requires pending actions to be dismissed.

Excludes from such prohibition actions: (1) brought by a directly harmed party against a person who transfers a firearm knowing that it will be used to commit a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime; (2) brought against a seller for negligent entrustment or negligence per se; (3) in which a manufacturer or seller of a firearm knowingly violated a state or federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the firearm and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought; (4) for breach of contract or warranty in connection with the purchase of the firearm; (5) for death, physical injuries, or property damage resulting directly from a defect in design or manufacture of the firearm when used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner, except that where the discharge was caused by a volitional act that constituted a criminal offense, such act shall be considered the sole proximate cause of any resulting death, personal injuries, or property damage; or (6) commenced by the Attorney General to enforce firearms provisions under the federal criminal code or the Internal Revenue Code. Permits a person under age 17 to recover damages authorized under federal or state law in a civil action that meets specified requirements.

(Sec. 5) Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 - Prohibits the sale, delivery, or transfer by a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer of a handgun to any person other than a person with a firearms license unless the transferee is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device. Lists exceptions, including for U.S. and state agencies and for law enforcement. Grants immunity from a qualified civil liability action for a person who has lawful possession and control of a handgun and who uses a secure gun storage or safety device. Establishes as penalties for violations: (1) license revocation or suspension for up to six months; or (2) a civil penalty of up to $2,500.

(Sec. 6) Sets penalties for using or carrying armor piercing ammunition during and in relation to a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime, and for possessing armor piercing ammunition in furtherance of any such crime, that shall be in addition to the punishment otherwise provided for such crime.

Directs the Attorney General to conduct and report to the chairman and ranking member of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on a study to determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of projectiles against body armor is feasible.