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Reported in House (10/08/2002)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2037 Reported in House (RH)]

                                                 Union Calendar No. 456
107th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 2037

                  [Report No. 107-727, Parts I and II]

  To amend the Act establishing the Department of Commerce to protect 
manufacturers and sellers in the firearms and ammunition industry from 
            restrictions on interstate or foreign commerce.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 25, 2001

   Mr. Stearns (for himself, Mr. Aderholt, Mr. Baca, Mr. Bachus, Mr. 
 Ballenger, Mr. Barcia, Mr. Barr of Georgia, Mr. Bartlett of Maryland, 
Mr. Barton of Texas, Mr. Bass, Mr. Bishop, Mr. Blunt, Mr. Boucher, Mr. 
 Brown of South Carolina, Mr. Bryant, Mr. Burr of North Carolina, Mr. 
Burton of Indiana, Mr. Buyer, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Cannon, Mr. Cantor, Mr. 
Carson of Oklahoma, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Cramer, Mr. Crane, Mrs. Cubin, Mr. 
 Culberson, Mr. Cunningham, Mrs. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia, Mr. DeLay, 
    Mr. DeMint, Mr. Dingell, Mr. Doolittle, Mr. Flake, Mr. Lucas of 
   Oklahoma, Mr. Gibbons, Mr. Goode, Mr. Goodlatte, Mr. Graham, Mr. 
Graves, Mr. Hall of Texas, Mr. Hansen, Ms. Hart, Mr. Hayes, Mr. Hefley, 
Mr. Herger, Mr. Hilleary, Mr. Holden, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Issa, Mr. Istook, 
Mr. Jenkins, Mr. John, Mr. Johnson of Illinois, Mr. Keller, Mr. Kerns, 
  Mr. Largent, Mr. Lucas of Kentucky, Mr. Manzullo, Mr. Matheson, Mr. 
 Gary G. Miller of California, Mr. Ney, Mr. Norwood, Mr. Oberstar, Mr. 
  Otter, Mr. Pence, Mr. Peterson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Pickering, Mr. 
Pitts, Mr. Radanovich, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Rehberg, Mr. Rogers of Michigan, 
 Mr. Ross, Mr. Ryan of Wisconsin, Mr. Ryun of Kansas, Mr. Sandlin, Mr. 
 Schaffer, Mr. Schrock, Mr. Sensenbrenner, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Shadegg, 
  Mr. Shimkus, Mr. Shows, Mr. Shuster, Mr. Simmons, Mr. Simpson, Mr. 
 Skeen, Mr. Smith of Texas, Mr. Souder, Mr. Stenholm, Mr. Strickland, 
   Mr. Sununu, Mr. Taylor of Mississippi, Mr. Terry, Mr. Tiahrt, Mr. 
Traficant, Mr. Walden, Mr. Jones of North Carolina, Mr. Whitfield, Mr. 
 Wicker, and Mr. Young of Alaska) introduced the following bill; which 
 was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition 
  to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently 
   determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such 
 provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

                            October 7, 2002

  Reported from the Committee on Energy and Commerce with an amendment
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]

                            October 7, 2002

Referral to the Committee on the Judiciary extended for a period ending 
                     not later than October 8, 2002

                            October 8, 2002

   Additional sponsors: Mr. Vitter, Mr. Knollenberg, Mr. Duncan, Mr. 
 Isakson, Mr. Riley, Mr. Lewis of Kentucky, Mr. Phelps, Mr. Pombo, Mr. 
Gillmor, Mr. Boehner, Mr. Stump, Mr. Hayworth, Mr. Coble, Mr. Watkins, 
Mr. Brady of Texas, Mr. Gutknecht, Mr. Weldon of Florida, Mr. Hastings 
 of Washington, Mr. Akin, Mr. McInnis, Mr. Nethercutt, Mr. Peterson of 
   Minnesota, Mr. Lewis of California, Mr. Putnam, Mr. Mascara, Mr. 
Fletcher, Mr. Berry, Mr. Costello, Mr. Hulshof, Mr. Wamp, Mr. Mollohan, 
  Mr. Tauzin, Mr. McKeon, Mr. Tancredo, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Ganske, Mr. 
Hobson, Mr. Collins, Mr. McHugh, Mr. Camp, Mr. Upton, Mr. Skelton, Mr. 
    Oxley, Mrs. Emerson, Mr. Baker, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Toomey, Mr. 
  Scarborough, Mr. Armey, Mr. Kingston, Mr. McCrery, Mr. English, Mr. 
  Moran of Kansas, Mrs. Myrick, Mr. Watts of Oklahoma, Mr. Kennedy of 
  Minnesota, Mr. Everett, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Gekas, Mr. Taylor of North 
   Carolina, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Hoekstra, Mr. Saxton, Mr. 
 Boehlert, Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Tom Davis of Virginia, Mr. Osborne, Mrs. 
Bono, Mr. Thompson of California, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Thune, Mr. 
   Sweeney, Mr. Latham, Mr. Gallegly, Mr. LaHood, Mrs. Biggert, Mr. 
Linder, Mr. Portman, Mr. Cox, Mr. Boyd, Mr. Jeff Miller of Florida, Mr. 
  Combest, Mr. Rohrabacher, Mr. Platts, Mrs. Thurman, Mr. Turner, Mr. 
   Greenwood, Mr. Sam Johnson of Texas, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Ortiz, Mr. 
Sherwood, Mr. Ose, Mr. Kanjorski, Mr. Mica, Mr. Bonilla, Mr. Weldon of 
Pennsylvania, Mr. Royce, Mr. Clement, Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, Mr. 
 Crenshaw, Mr. Murtha, Mr. Lampson, Mr. Thornberry, Mr. Callahan, Mr. 
 Nussle, Mr. LoBiondo, Mr. Tanner, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Dreier, Mr. 
   Hilliard, Mr. Quinn, Mr. Hill, Mr. LaTourette, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. 
 Sullivan, Mr. Ehlers, Mr. Rogers of Kentucky, Mr. Goss, Mrs. Northup, 
Ms. Granger, Mr. Weller, Mr. Smith of Michigan, Mr. Foley, Mr. Deal of 
Georgia, Mr. Green of Wisconsin, Mr. Boswell, Mr. Tiberi, Mr. Larsen of 
                   Washington, and Ms. Pryce of Ohio
    Deleted sponsor: Mr. Sensenbrenner (added May 25, 2001; deleted
                            August 2, 2001)

                            October 8, 2002

Reported from the Committee on the Judiciary with amendments, committed 
  to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and 
                         ordered to be printed
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                           in boldface roman]
[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on May 25, 
                                 2001]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend the Act establishing the Department of Commerce to protect 
manufacturers and sellers in the firearms and ammunition industry from 
            restrictions on interstate or foreign commerce.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Protection of Lawful Commerce in 
Arms Act''.

SEC 2. AMENDMENT TO ORGANIC ACT.

    The Act entitled ``An Act to establish the Department of Commerce 
and Labor'', approved February 14, 1903 (15 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), is 
amended by redesignating section 13 as section 14 and by inserting 
after section 12 the following:

``SEC. 13. RESTRICTION ON COMMERCE.

    ``(a) Secretary of Commerce List.--The Secretary of Commerce shall 
establish and maintain a list consisting of each person that notifies 
the Secretary under subsection (b) that such person is a licensed 
manufacturer of a firearm or an ammunition product, a licensed seller 
of a firearm, a licensed seller of an ammunition product, or a trade 
association representing such manufacturers or sellers. The list shall 
contain the name of the person, the chief executive officer of the 
person, and the address and location of the headquarters of the person. 
The Secretary shall maintain and update the list and may publish the 
list in the Federal Register.
    ``(b) Notification.--Each person that--
            ``(1) is a licensed manufacturer of a firearm or an 
        ammunition product,
            ``(2) is a licensed seller of a firearm,
            ``(3) is a licensed seller of an ammunition product, or
            ``(4) is a trade association representing such 
        manufacturers or sellers,
may notify the Secretary of that person's existence and provide to the 
Secretary the information described in subsection (a).
    ``(c) Freedom From Restriction.--Conduct that--
            ``(1) is carried out by a licensed manufacturer of a 
        firearm or an ammunition product, involves such firearm or 
        ammunition product, and is described in paragraph (5) of 
        subsection (f),
            ``(2) is carried out by a licensed seller of a firearm, 
        involves such firearm, and is described in paragraph (7) of 
        subsection (f),
            ``(3) is carried out by a licensed seller of an ammunition 
        product, involves such ammunition product, and is described in 
        paragraph (8) of subsection (f), or
            ``(4) is carried out by a trade association in the course 
        of organizing, advising, or representing its members who are 
        manufacturers of a firearm or an ammunition product, sellers of 
        a firearm, or sellers of an ammunition product, with respect to 
        conduct of such manufacturers or sellers described in paragraph 
        (5), (7), or (8) of subsection (f), as the case may be,
and that is lawful under applicable Federal, State, or local law, shall 
not be a basis for imposing a restriction on interstate or foreign 
commerce on a person on the list described in subsection (a) as a 
result of harm caused by the criminal, suicidal, negligent, or other 
unlawful misuse of any such firearm or ammunition product by any other 
person.
    ``(d) Absence From List.--The absence from the list maintained 
under this section of any person who is a manufacturer of a firearm or 
an ammunition product, a seller of a firearm, or a seller of an 
ammunition product shall not be construed to create any cause of action 
or to deprive such person of any lawful defense that may otherwise be 
available to such person.
    ``(e) Limitation of Use of List.--No officer, agency, or 
instrumentality of the United States may use the list established and 
maintained under this section for any purpose other than the 
enforcement of the provisions of this section.
    ``(f) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Ammunition product.--The term `ammunition product' 
        means `ammunition' as defined in section 921(a)(17) of title 
        18, United States Code, and includes a component part of such 
        ammunition product that has been shipped or transported in 
        interstate or foreign commerce.
            ``(2) Engaged in the business.--The term `engaged in the 
        business' has the meaning given that term in section 921(a)(21) 
        of title 18, United States Code, and, as applied to a seller of 
        an ammunition product described in paragraph (8)(A)(ii), means 
        a person who devotes, time, attention, and labor to the sale of 
        ammunition products as a regular course of trade or business 
        with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through 
        the sale or distribution of the ammunition products.
            ``(3) Firearm.--The term `firearm' means `firearm' as 
        defined in section 921(a)(3)(A) or (B) of title 18, United 
        States Code, and includes--
                    ``(A) any `antique firearm' as defined in section 
                921(a)(16) of such title; and
                    ``(B) a component part of any firearm described in 
                this paragraph that has been shipped or transported in 
                interstate or foreign commerce.
            ``(4) Interstate or foreign commerce.--The term `interstate 
        or foreign commerce' has the meaning given that term in section 
        921(a)(2) of title 18, United States Code.
            ``(5) Manufacturer; licensed manufacturer.--
                    ``(A) Manufacturer.--The term `manufacturer of a 
                firearm or an ammunition product' means a 
                `manufacturer' as defined in section 921(a)(10) of 
                title 18, United States Code, who is engaged in the 
                business of manufacturing a firearm or an ammunition 
                product in interstate or foreign commerce.
                    ``(B) Licensed manufacturer.--The term `licensed 
                manufacturer of a firearm or an ammunition product' 
                means any manufacturer described in subparagraph (A) 
                who is licensed under chapter 44 of title 18, United 
                States Code, to be engaged in the business as such 
                manufacturer.
            ``(6) Restriction on interstate or foreign commerce.--The 
        term `restriction on interstate or foreign commerce'--
                    ``(A) means--
                            ``(i) civil damages or equitable relief, or
                            ``(ii) any other limitation or condition,
                awarded or ordered by a Federal, State, or local court, 
                that restricts the ability of a person on the list 
                established under subsection (a) to freely engage in 
                interstate or foreign commerce with respect to firearms 
                or ammunition products, or of a trade association on 
                the list established under subsection (a) to freely 
                engage in lawful activities on behalf of its 
                membership; and
                    ``(B) does not include any damages, equitable 
                relief, or other limitation or condition arising from--
                            ``(i) breach of contract or warranty in 
                        connection with the purchase of a firearm or an 
                        ammunition product;
                            ``(ii) physical injuries or property damage 
                        resulting directly from a defect in design or 
                        manufacture of a firearm or an ammunition 
                        product, when used as intended; or
                            ``(iii) the supplying of a firearm or an 
                        ammunition product by a seller of a firearm or 
                        seller of an ammunition product for use by 
                        another person when the seller knows or should 
                        know that the person to whom the product has 
                        been supplied is likely to use the product, and 
                        in fact does use the product, in a manner 
                        involving unreasonable risk of physical injury 
                        to that person and others.
            ``(7) Seller of a firearm; licensed seller.--
                    ``(A) Seller.--The term `seller of a firearm' 
                means--
                            ``(i) an importer as defined in section 
                        921(a)(9) of title 18, United States Code, with 
                        respect to firearms, or
                            ``(ii) a dealer as defined in section 
                        921(a)(11) of title 18, United States Code,
                who is engaged in the business as such importer or 
                dealer in interstate or foreign commerce.
                    ``(B) Licensed seller.--The term `licensed seller 
                of a firearm' means a seller of a firearm who is 
                licensed under chapter 44 of title 18, United States 
                Code, to be engaged in the business as an importer or 
                dealer described in subparagraph (A).
            ``(8) Seller of ammunition product; licensed seller.--
                    ``(A) Seller.--The term `seller of an ammunition 
                product' means--
                            ``(i) an importer as defined in section 
                        921(a)(9) of title 18, United States Code, with 
                        respect to ammunition products, who is engaged 
                        in the business as such importer in interstate 
                        or foreign commerce; or
                            ``(ii) any other person who is engaged in 
                        the business of selling ammunition products, 
                        including component parts of such ammunition 
                        products, in interstate or foreign commerce at 
                        the wholesale or retail level, consistent with 
                        Federal, State, and local law.
                    ``(B) Licensed seller.--The term `licensed seller 
                of an ammunition product' means--
                            ``(i) an importer described in clause (i) 
                        of subparagraph (A) who is licensed to be 
                        engaged in the business as such an importer 
                        under chapter 44 of title 18, United States 
                        Code; and
                            ``(ii) any other person described in clause 
                        (ii) of subparagraph (A) who has met all 
                        applicable requirements under Federal, State, 
                        or local law to be licensed to be engaged in 
                        the business as a seller described in that 
                        clause.
            ``(9) State.--The term `State' includes the District of 
        Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory of 
        possession of the United States.
            ``(10) Trade association.--The term `trade association' 
        means any association or business organization (whether or not 
        incorporated under the laws of any State) that is not operated 
        for profit, and 2 or more members of which are manufacturers of 
        a firearm or an ammunition product, sellers of a firearm, or 
        sellers of an ammunition product.''.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Protection of Lawful Commerce in 
Arms Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Citizens have a right, under the Second Amendment to 
        the United States Constitution, to keep and bear arms.
            (2) Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers, 
        distributors, dealers, and importers of nondefective firearms, 
        which seek money damages and other relief for the harm caused 
        by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including 
        criminals.
            (3) The manufacture, importation, possession, sale, and use 
        of firearms and ammunition in the United States is heavily 
        regulated by Federal, State, and local laws. Such Federal laws 
        include the Gun Control Act of 1968, the National Firearms Act, 
        and the Arms Export Control Act.
            (4) Businesses in the United States that are engaged in 
        interstate and foreign commerce through the lawful design, 
        marketing, distribution, manufacture, importation, or sale to 
        the public of firearms or ammunition that have been shipped or 
        transported in interstate or foreign commerce are not, and 
        should not be, liable for the harm caused by those who 
        criminally or unlawfully misuse firearm products or ammunition 
        products.
            (5) The possibility of imposing liability on an entire 
        industry for harm that is the sole responsibility of others is 
        an abuse of the legal system, erodes public confidence in our 
        Nation's laws, threatens the diminution of a basic 
        constitutional right, invites the disassembly and 
        destabilization of other industries and economic sectors 
        lawfully competing in America's free enterprise system, and 
        constitutes an unreasonable burden on interstate and foreign 
        commerce.
            (6) The liability actions commenced or contemplated by 
        municipalities and cities are based on theories without 
        foundation in hundreds of years of the common law and American 
        jurisprudence. The possible sustaining of these actions by a 
        maverick judicial officer would expand civil liability in a 
        manner never contemplated by the Framers of the Constitution. 
        The Congress further finds that such an expansion of liability 
        would constitute a deprivation of the rights, privileges, and 
        immunities guaranteed to a citizen of the United States under 
        the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are as follows:
            (1) To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, 
        distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition 
        products for the harm caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse 
        of firearm products or ammunition products by others.
            (2) To preserve a citizen's access to a supply of firearms 
        and ammunition for all lawful purposes, including hunting, 
        self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational 
        shooting.
            (3) To guarantee a citizen's rights, privileges, and 
        immunities, as applied to the States, under the Fourteenth 
        Amendment to the United States Constitution, pursuant to 
        section five of that Amendment.
            (4) To prevent the use of such lawsuits to impose 
        unreasonable burdens on interstate and foreign commerce.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON BRINGING OF QUALIFIED CIVIL LIABILITY ACTIONS IN 
              FEDERAL OR STATE COURT.

    (a) In General.--A qualified civil liability action may not be 
brought in any Federal or State court.
    (b) Dismissal of Pending Actions.--A qualified civil liability 
action that is pending on the date of the enactment of this Act shall 
be dismissed immediately by the court in which the action was brought.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Engaged in the business.--The term ``engaged in the 
        business'' has the meaning given that term in section 
        921(a)(21) of title 18, United States Code, and, as applied to 
        a seller of ammunition, means a person who devotes, time, 
        attention, and labor to the sale of ammunition as a regular 
        course of trade or business with the principal objective of 
        livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of 
        ammunition.
            (2) Manufacturer.--The term ``manufacturer'' means, with 
        respect to a qualified product, a person who is engaged in the 
        business of manufacturing the product in interstate or foreign 
        commerce and who is licensed to engage in business as such a 
        manufacturer under chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code.
            (3) Person.--The term ``person'' means any individual, 
        corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, 
        joint stock company, or any other entity, including any 
        governmental entity.
            (4) Qualified product.--The term ``qualified product'' 
        means a firearm (as defined in subparagraph (A) or (B) of 
        section 921(a)(3) of title 18, United States Code, including 
        any antique firearm (as defined in section 921(a)(16) of such 
        title)), or ammunition (as defined in section 921(a)(17) of 
        such title), or a component part of a firearm or ammunition, 
        that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign 
        commerce.
            (5) Qualified civil liability action.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``qualified civil 
                liability action'' means a civil action brought by any 
                person against a manufacturer or seller of a qualified 
                product, or a trade association, for damages resulting 
                from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a qualified 
                product by the person or a third party, but shall not 
                include--
                            (i) an action brought against a transferor 
                        convicted under section 924(h) of title 18, 
                        United States Code, or a comparable or 
                        identical State felony law, by a party directly 
                        harmed by the conduct of which the transferee 
                        is so convicted;
                            (ii) an action brought against a seller for 
                        negligent entrustment or negligence per se;
                            (iii) an action where a manufacturer or 
                        seller of a qualified product knowingly and 
                        willfully violated a State or Federal statute 
                        applicable to the sale or marketing of the 
                        product, and the violation was a proximate 
                        cause of the harm for which relief is sought;
                            (iv) an action for breach of contract or 
                        warranty in connection with the purchase of the 
                        product; or
                            (v) an action for physical injuries or 
                        property damage resulting directly from a 
                        defect in design or manufacture of the product, 
                        when used as intended.
                    (B) Negligent entrustment.--In subparagraph 
                (A)(ii), the term ``negligent entrustment'' means the 
                supplying of a qualified product by a seller for use by 
                another person when the seller knows or should know the 
                person to whom the product is supplied is likely to use 
                the product, and in fact does use the product, in a 
                manner involving unreasonable risk of physical injury 
                to the person and others.
            (6) Seller.--The term ``seller'' means, with respect to a 
        qualified product--
                    (A) an importer (as defined in section 921(a)(9) of 
                title 18, United States Code) who is engaged in the 
                business as such an importer in interstate or foreign 
                commerce and who is licensed to engage in business as 
                such an importer under chapter 44 of title 18, United 
                States Code;
                    (B) a dealer (as defined in section 921(a)(11) of 
                title 18, United States Code) who is engaged in the 
                business as such a dealer in interstate or foreign 
                commerce and who is licensed to engage in business as 
                such a dealer under chapter 44 of title 18, United 
                States Code; or
                    (C) a person engaged in the business of selling 
                ammunition (as defined in section 921(a)(17) of title 
                18, United States Code) in interstate or foreign 
                commerce at the wholesale or retail level, consistent 
                with Federal, State, and local law.
            (7) State.--The term ``State'' includes each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, 
        and any other territory or possession of the United States, and 
        any political subdivision of any such place.
            (8) Trade association.--The term ``trade association'' 
        means any association or business organization (whether or not 
        incorporated under Federal or State law) that is not operated 
        for profit, and 2 or more members of which are manufacturers or 
        sellers of a qualified product.
            Amend the title so as to read as follows: ``A bill to 
        prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or 
        continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or 
        importers of firearms or ammunition for damages resulting from 
        the misuse of their products by others.''.




                                                 Union Calendar No. 456

107th CONGRESS

  2d Session

                               H. R. 2037

                  [Report No. 107-727, Parts I and II]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

  To amend the Act establishing the Department of Commerce to protect 
manufacturers and sellers in the firearms and ammunition industry from 
            restrictions on interstate or foreign commerce.

_______________________________________________________________________

                            October 8, 2002

Reported from the Committee on the Judiciary with amendments, committed 
  to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and 
                         ordered to be printed