Bill S. 397, if signed into law by President Bush, would prohibit lawsuits against the firearms industry for damages resulting from the unlawful use of a firearm or ammunition. The House passed the bill with a vote of 283-144. The Senate passed the bill in July.
If the bill is signed into law, about 20 pending lawsuits by local governments against the industry will be dismissed.
The bill’s authors say gun makers and dealers still would be subject to product liability, negligence, or breach of contract suits and that the bill still would allow civil suits against individual parties who have been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing by the courts.