Today, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Senior Advisor to the President and White House Intergovernmental Affairs Director, and White House officials from the Domestic Policy Council and Office of Intergovernmental Affairs convened a meeting with state legislative leaders from New York, Delaware, California, and Illinois to discuss how states are leading the way in efforts to hold gun manufacturers accountable.
President Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a federal law that provides gun manufacturers and gun dealers with more protection from liability than tobacco companies and alcohol companies. This law denies many victims of gun violence their day in court, and establishes a barrier preventing the public from holding gunmakers accountable and demanding reforms to their marketing and sales practices.
As the President continues to call for repeal of PLCAA, the White House is also working with state and local officials to advance strategies to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable for unlawful conduct. Last year, the White House convened a meeting with state Attorneys General to discuss the opportunity and barriers to using generally applicable state consumer protection and nuisance laws to take action against gun manufacturers and gun dealers.
Today, the White House convened state legislators to discuss how states are enacting state firearm-specific liability laws to create new predicates allowing litigation to proceed under PLCAA. New York, Delaware, and California are three examples of states that have enacted such liability laws. Many other states are working to join in this effort. For example, Illinois already has many gun safety laws in place – but in the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Highland Park on July 4, 2022, legislative leaders are considering additional measures to combat gun violence, including gun industry accountability measures.
State legislative leaders from today’s meeting included:
- New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie
- Delaware State Senator Elizabeth Lockman
- California State Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan
- California Assemblymember Phil Ting
- Illinois State Representative Bob Morgan
- Illinois State Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chair Jacqueline Collins
- Illinois State Representative Margaret Croke
- Illinois State Representative Kambium Buckner
- Illinois State Representative Maura Hirschauer
- Illinois State Representative Denyse Stoneback