Text: S.397 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 109-92 (10/26/2005)

 
[109th Congress Public Law 92]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ092.109]

[[Page 119 STAT. 2095]]

Public Law 109-92
109th Congress

                                 An Act


 
  To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued 
 against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms 
or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the 
misuse of their products by others. <<NOTE: Oct. 26, 2005 -  [S. 397]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Protection of Lawful 
Commerce in Arms Act. 15 USC 7901 note.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

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

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7901.>> FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution 
        provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms 
        shall not be infringed.
            (2) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution 
        protects the rights of individuals, including those who are not 
        members of a militia or engaged in military service or training, 
        to keep and bear arms.
            (3) Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers, 
        distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms that operate as 
        designed and intended, which seek money damages and other relief 
        for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, 
        including criminals.
            (4) The manufacture, importation, possession, sale, and use 
        of firearms and ammunition in the United States are 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.
            (5) Businesses in the United States that are engaged in 
        interstate and foreign commerce through the lawful design, 
        manufacture, marketing, distribution, importation, or sale to 
        the public of firearms or ammunition products 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 that function as designed and intended.
            (6) The possibility of imposing liability on an entire 
        industry for harm that is solely caused by others is an abuse of 
        the legal system, erodes public confidence in our Nation's laws, 
        threatens the diminution of a basic constitutional right and 
        civil liberty, invites the disassembly and destabilization of 
        other industries and economic sectors lawfully competing

[[Page 119 STAT. 2096]]

        in the free enterprise system of the United States, and 
        constitutes an unreasonable burden on interstate and foreign 
        commerce of the United States.
            (7) The liability actions commenced or contemplated by the 
        Federal Government, States, municipalities, and private interest 
        groups and others are based on theories without foundation in 
        hundreds of years of the common law and jurisprudence of the 
        United States and do not represent a bona fide expansion of the 
        common law. The possible sustaining of these actions by a 
        maverick judicial officer or petit jury would expand civil 
        liability in a manner never contemplated by the framers of the 
        Constitution, by Congress, or by the legislatures of the several 
        States. 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.
            (8) The liability actions commenced or contemplated by the 
        Federal Government, States, municipalities, private interest 
        groups and others attempt to use the judicial branch to 
        circumvent the Legislative branch of government to regulate 
        interstate and foreign commerce through judgments and judicial 
        decrees thereby threatening the Separation of Powers doctrine 
        and weakening and undermining important principles of 
        federalism, State sovereignty and comity between the sister 
        States.

    (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, and their trade associations, for the harm solely 
        caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or 
        ammunition products by others when the product functioned as 
        designed and intended.
            (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 
        5 of that Amendment.
            (4) To prevent the use of such lawsuits to impose 
        unreasonable burdens on interstate and foreign commerce.
            (5) To protect the right, under the First Amendment to the 
        Constitution, of manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and 
        importers of firearms or ammunition products, and trade 
        associations, to speak freely, to assemble peaceably, and to 
        petition the Government for a redress of their grievances.
            (6) To preserve and protect the Separation of Powers 
        doctrine and important principles of federalism, State 
        sovereignty and comity between sister States.
            (7) To exercise congressional power under article IV, 
        section 1 (the Full Faith and Credit Clause) of the United 
        States Constitution.

SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7902.>> 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.

[[Page 119 STAT. 2097]]

    (b) Dismissal of Pending Actions.--A qualified civil liability 
action that is pending on the date of enactment of this Act shall be 
immediately dismissed by the court in which the action was brought or is 
currently pending.

SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 15 USC 7903.>> 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)(A) 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 or proceeding or 
                an administrative proceeding brought by any person 
                against a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product, 
                or a trade association, for damages, punitive damages, 
                injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, 
                restitution, fines, or penalties, or other relief, 
                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 in which a manufacturer or 
                      seller of a qualified product knowingly 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, including--
                                    (I) any case in which the 
                                manufacturer or seller knowingly made 
                                any false entry in, or failed to make 
                                appropriate entry in, any record 
                                required

[[Page 119 STAT. 2098]]

                                to be kept under Federal or State law 
                                with respect to the qualified product, 
                                or aided, abetted, or conspired with any 
                                person in making any false or fictitious 
                                oral or written statement with respect 
                                to any fact material to the lawfulness 
                                of the sale or other disposition of a 
                                qualified product; or
                                    (II) any case in which the 
                                manufacturer or seller aided, abetted, 
                                or conspired with any other person to 
                                sell or otherwise dispose of a qualified 
                                product, knowing, or having reasonable 
                                cause to believe, that the actual buyer 
                                of the qualified product was prohibited 
                                from possessing or receiving a firearm 
                                or ammunition under subsection (g) or 
                                (n) of section 922 of title 18, United 
                                States Code;
                          (iv) an action for breach of contract or 
                      warranty in connection with the purchase of the 
                      product;
                          (v) an action for death, physical injuries or 
                      property damage resulting directly from a defect 
                      in design or manufacture of the product, when used 
                      as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable manner, 
                      except that where the discharge of the product was 
                      caused by a volitional act that constituted a 
                      criminal offense, then such act shall be 
                      considered the sole proximate cause of any 
                      resulting death, personal injuries or property 
                      damage; or
                          (vi) an action or proceeding commenced by the 
                      Attorney General to enforce the provisions of 
                      chapter 44 of title 18 or chapter 53 of title 26, 
                      United States Code.
                    (B) Negligent entrustment.--As used 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 reasonably 
                should know, the person to whom the product is supplied 
                is likely to, and does, use the product in a manner 
                involving unreasonable risk of physical injury to the 
                person or others.
                    (C) Rule of construction.--The exceptions enumerated 
                under clauses (i) through (v) of subparagraph (A) shall 
                be construed so as not to be in conflict, and no 
                provision of this Act shall be construed to create a 
                public or private cause of action or remedy.
                    (D) Minor child exception.--Nothing in this Act 
                shall be construed to limit the right of a person under 
                17 years of age to recover damages authorized under 
                Federal or State law in a civil action that meets 1 of 
                the requirements under clauses (i) through (v) of 
                subparagraph (A).
            (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

[[Page 119 STAT. 2099]]

                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)(A) of title 
                18, United States Code) in interstate or foreign 
                commerce at the wholesale or retail level.
            (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--
                    (A) any corporation, unincorporated association, 
                federation, business league, professional or business 
                organization not organized or operated for profit and no 
                part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit 
                of any private shareholder or individual;
                    (B) that is an organization described in section 
                501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and 
                exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code; and
                    (C) 2 or more members of which are manufacturers or 
                sellers of a qualified product.
            (9) Unlawful misuse.--The term ``unlawful misuse'' means 
        conduct that violates a statute, ordinance, or regulation as it 
        relates to the use of a qualified product.

SEC. 5. <<NOTE: Child Safety Lock Act of 2005. 18 USC 921 note.>> CHILD 
            SAFETY LOCKS.

    (a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Child Safety 
Lock Act of 2005''.
    (b) <<NOTE: 18 USC 922 note.>> Purposes.--The purposes of this 
section are--
            (1) to promote the safe storage and use of handguns by 
        consumers;
            (2) to prevent unauthorized persons from gaining access to 
        or use of a handgun, including children who may not be in 
        possession of a handgun; and
            (3) to avoid hindering industry from supplying firearms to 
        law abiding citizens for all lawful purposes, including hunting, 
        self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational 
        shooting.

    (c) Firearms Safety.--
            (1) Mandatory transfer of secure gun storage or safety 
        device.--Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended 
        by inserting at the end the following:

    ``(z) Secure Gun Storage or Safety Device.--
            ``(1) In general.--Except as provided under paragraph (2), 
        it shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed 
        manufacturer, or licensed dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer 
        any handgun to any person other than any person licensed under 
        this chapter, unless the transferee is provided with a secure 
        gun storage or safety device (as defined in section 921(a)(34)) 
        for that handgun.
            ``(2) Exceptions.--Paragraph (1) shall not apply to--
                    ``(A)(i) the manufacture for, transfer to, or 
                possession by, the United States, a department or agency 
                of the United

[[Page 119 STAT. 2100]]

                States, a State, or a department, agency, or political 
                subdivision of a State, of a handgun; or
                    ``(ii) the transfer to, or possession by, a law 
                enforcement officer employed by an entity referred to in 
                clause (i) of a handgun for law enforcement purposes 
                (whether on or off duty); or
                    ``(B) the transfer to, or possession by, a rail 
                police officer employed by a rail carrier and certified 
                or commissioned as a police officer under the laws of a 
                State of a handgun for purposes of law enforcement 
                (whether on or off duty);
                    ``(C) the transfer to any person of a handgun listed 
                as a curio or relic by the Secretary pursuant to section 
                921(a)(13); or
                    ``(D) the transfer to any person of a handgun for 
                which a secure gun storage or safety device is 
                temporarily unavailable for the reasons described in the 
                exceptions stated in section 923(e), if the licensed 
                manufacturer, licensed importer, or licensed dealer 
                delivers to the transferee within 10 calendar days from 
                the date of the delivery of the handgun to the 
                transferee a secure gun storage or safety device for the 
                handgun.
            ``(3) Liability for use.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
                provision of law, a person who has lawful possession and 
                control of a handgun, and who uses a secure gun storage 
                or safety device with the handgun, shall be entitled to 
                immunity from a qualified civil liability action.
                    ``(B) Prospective actions.--A qualified civil 
                liability action may not be brought in any Federal or 
                State court.
                    ``(C) Defined term.--As used in this paragraph, the 
                term `qualified civil liability action'--
                          ``(i) means a civil action brought by any 
                      person against a person described in subparagraph 
                      (A) for damages resulting from the criminal or 
                      unlawful misuse of the handgun by a third party, 
                      if--
                                    ``(I) the handgun was accessed by 
                                another person who did not have the 
                                permission or authorization of the 
                                person having lawful possession and 
                                control of the handgun to have access to 
                                it; and
                                    ``(II) at the time access was gained 
                                by the person not so authorized, the 
                                handgun had been made inoperable by use 
                                of a secure gun storage or safety 
                                device; and
                          ``(ii) shall not include an action brought 
                      against the person having lawful possession and 
                      control of the handgun for negligent entrustment 
                      or negligence per se.''.
            (2) Civil penalties.--Section 924 of title 18, United States 
        Code, is amended--
                    (A) in subsection (a)(1), by striking ``or (f)'' and 
                inserting ``(f), or (p)''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:

    ``(p) Penalties Relating To Secure Gun Storage or Safety Device.--
            ``(1) In general.--

[[Page 119 STAT. 2101]]

                    ``(A) Suspension or revocation of license; civil 
                penalties.--With respect to each violation of section 
                922(z)(1) by a licensed manufacturer, licensed importer, 
                or licensed dealer, the Secretary may, after notice and 
                opportunity for hearing--
                          ``(i) suspend for not more than 6 months, or 
                      revoke, the license issued to the licensee under 
                      this chapter that was used to conduct the firearms 
                      transfer; or
                          ``(ii) subject the licensee to a civil penalty 
                      in an amount equal to not more than $2,500.
                    ``(B) Review.--An action of the Secretary under this 
                paragraph may be reviewed only as provided under section 
                923(f).
            ``(2) Administrative remedies.--The suspension or revocation 
        of a license or the imposition of a civil penalty under 
        paragraph (1) shall not preclude any administrative remedy that 
        is otherwise available to the Secretary.''.
            (3) <<NOTE: 18 USC 922 note.>> Liability; evidence.--
                    (A) Liability.--Nothing in this section shall be 
                construed to--
                          (i) create a cause of action against any 
                      Federal firearms licensee or any other person for 
                      any civil liability; or
                          (ii) establish any standard of care.
                    (B) Evidence.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
                of law, evidence regarding compliance or noncompliance 
                with the amendments made by this section shall not be 
                admissible as evidence in any proceeding of any court, 
                agency, board, or other entity, except with respect to 
                an action relating to section 922(z) of title 18, United 
                States Code, as added by this subsection.
                    (C) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this paragraph 
                shall be construed to bar a governmental action to 
                impose a penalty under section 924(p) of title 18, 
                United States Code, for a failure to comply with section 
                922(z) of that title.

    (d) <<NOTE: 18 USC 922 note.>> Effective Date.--This section and the 
amendments made by this section shall take effect 180 days after the 
date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 6. ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION.

    (a) Unlawful Acts.--Section 922(a) of title 18, United States Code, 
is amended by striking paragraphs (7) and (8) and inserting the 
following:
            ``(7) for any person to manufacture or import armor piercing 
        ammunition, unless--
                    ``(A) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the 
                use of the United States, any department or agency of 
                the United States, any State, or any department, agency, 
                or political subdivision of a State;
                    ``(B) the manufacture of such ammunition is for the 
                purpose of exportation; or
                    ``(C) the manufacture or importation of such 
                ammunition is for the purpose of testing or 
                experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney 
                General;
            ``(8) for any manufacturer or importer to sell or deliver 
        armor piercing ammunition, unless such sale or delivery--

[[Page 119 STAT. 2102]]

                    ``(A) is for the use of the United States, any 
                department or agency of the United States, any State, or 
                any department, agency, or political subdivision of a 
                State;
                    ``(B) is for the purpose of exportation; or
                    ``(C) is for the purpose of testing or 
                experimentation and has been authorized by the Attorney 
                General;''.

    (b) Penalties.--Section 924(c) of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(5) Except to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is 
otherwise provided under this subsection, or by any other provision of 
law, any person who, during and in relation to any crime of violence or 
drug trafficking crime (including a crime of violence or drug 
trafficking crime that provides for an enhanced punishment if committed 
by the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or device) for which the 
person may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, uses or 
carries armor piercing ammunition, or who, in furtherance of any such 
crime, possesses armor piercing ammunition, shall, in addition to the 
punishment provided for such crime of violence or drug trafficking crime 
or conviction under this section--
            ``(A) be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less 
        than 15 years; and
            ``(B) if death results from the use of such ammunition--
                    ``(i) if the killing is murder (as defined in 
                section 1111), be punished by death or sentenced to a 
                term of imprisonment for any term of years or for life; 
                and
                    ``(ii) if the killing is manslaughter (as defined in 
                section 1112), be punished as provided in section 
                1112.''.

    (c) Study and Report.--
            (1) Study.--The Attorney General shall conduct a study to 
        determine whether a uniform standard for the testing of 
        projectiles against Body Armor is feasible.
            (2) Issues to be studied.--The study conducted under 
        paragraph (1) shall include--
                    (A) variations in performance that are related to 
                the length of the barrel of the handgun or center-fire 
                rifle from which the projectile is fired; and
                    (B) the amount of powder used to propel the 
                projectile.
            (3) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit a 
        report containing the results of the study conducted under this 
        subsection to--
                    (A) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee 
                on the Judiciary of the Senate; and

[[Page 119 STAT. 2103]]

                    (B) the chairman and ranking member of the Committee 
                on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

    Approved October 26, 2005.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 397:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 151 (2005):
            July 27-29, considered and passed Senate.
            Oct. 20, considered and passed House.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 41 (2005):
            Oct. 26, Presidential statement.

                                  <all>