Gun manufacturers and pro-gun groups including the
National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NRA pushed for passage
of a federal law to shield manufacturers from lawsuits.
The measure (S659 and HR 1036 in their respective houses)
was to make it impossible for gun violence and accident survivors
or families of lethal incidents to hold manufacturers responsible
for the results of their products. Gun safety advocacy organizations,
including the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, opposed the bills.
Opponents amended the measures to extend a 1994 ban
on assault rifles. Torn between wanting to sell machine guns and
hoping for litigation protection, the NRA and others changed their
tune and urged a thumbs-down.
The bill died on a 90 to eight vote after its sponsor,
Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig, pulled his support and urged
a “no” vote.