Many people remember the DC “Sniper” shootings back in 2002, where two deranged killers used a modified car and a Bushmaster rifle to murder several people before being caught by police. The rifle itself was stolen from a gun shop in the Seattle area, whose FFL was actually revoked and that ended up settling with the families of the victims during the lawsuit. Bushmaster was also sued by the families, however yesterday the suit was correctly dismissed under the Protection of Lawful Commerce Act.
What a lot of people don’t understand about the PLCA is that it doesn’t protect a company if they acted negligently, for example the gun shop was negligent in failing to account for a missing rifle and report that rifle missing. Bushmaster however was not negligent for selling the rifle to the gun shop, because that’s where their participation ended. It’s all pretty straightforward, and it’s nice to see the Protection Act being used for its correct purpose.