Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

National Rifle Association Endorses Oklahoma Legislature's Lawsuit Reform Bill

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

National Rifle Association Endorses Oklahoma Legislature's Lawsuit Reform Bill

Article excerpt

The National Rifle Association has endorsed the Oklahoma Legislature's tort reform bill because it offers protection from lawsuits to the nation's gun manufacturers. And as the national debate over gun control gains momentum in the wake of Monday's mass shooting at Virginia Tech, gun companies may find themselves increasingly in need of the protections Oklahoma lawmakers seek to offer.

Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, announced the NRA's endorsement of Senate Bill 507 on Tuesday.

"The NRA's endorsement of SB 507's liability protection for firearms and ammunition manufacturers has added to the momentum for meaningful lawsuit reform this year," said Coffee. "The NRA's support should ensure additional votes for SB 507 from rural Democrats who support Second Amendment rights."

SB 507 provides that manufacturers, distributors and sellers of firearms shall not be liable for any injury suffered, including wrongful death and property damage, due to the use of a firearm. The NRA itself would also be protected from such lawsuits by SB 507.

The law would not shield gun companies from liability for producing a defective product; however, a firearm may not be deemed defective on the basis of its potential to cause injury or death when discharged. People engaged in the unlawful sale or transfer of firearms would not be protected from lawsuits.

Joel Partridge, state liaison for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, sent a memorandum of support to the members of the Oklahoma Legislature on Monday. The provisions of SB 507 would protect lawful firearm and ammunition manufacturers from "reckless and frivolous lawsuits," Partridge wrote.

"Having failed to enact their agendas in legislative bodies across the nation, gun-ban advocacy groups have now taken to our country's courts in an attempt to bankrupt and cripple the lawful firearm manufacturing industry," reads the memo. "Your support for this key provision within SB 507 will ensure that commerce in firearms and ammunition will be rightfully protected from these predatory and baseless lawsuits. …

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