Over the past year, there has been a heated debate on Capitol Hill about the regulation of firearms and accessories such as high capacity magazines. With many school massacres and other acts of violence due to gunfire taking place in the past few decades, change in regulations was inevitable. A total ban on firearms was not feasible, as a citizen’s right to bear arms is protected through the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. However, in 2005, President Bush took a stance; he created change in policy by signing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (Arms Act) into office. The Arms Act was essentially immunity for manufacturers of firearms and establishments with federal firearms licenses. As a salesman, I have been able to see the positives and the negatives of this immunity. Sometimes, one cannot simply detect the risk of selling a firearm to a person who plans to commit an act of violence; therefore the salesman should not be held liable for an event of such type. On the other hand, straw purchases, or other methods of negligent distribution need to hold someone liable for transferring a gun into the wrong person’s hands. However, the Arms Act of 2005 states that no one would be responsible in the instance of a straw purchase. While there are some exceptions to the immunity, proving the Arms Act does not protect the dealer or manufacturer in court is difficult. Through personal experience as well as observations, I have seen both sides of the spectrum. This paper will address a solution to the Arms Act of 2005 involving the liability of federal firearms licensed dealers and ways to deter negligent sales in one of the largest, and certainly most controversial, industries in the United States of America.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/beau_cross/1/