Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton as been merciless in her attacks on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). That is the law passed in 2004 that protects firearms manufacturers and retailers from attempts by the gun ban lobby to overwhelm the firearms industry with frivolous lawsuits for actions committed by third parties. She has attacked her opponent Bernie Sanders for voting for the law and said the firearms industry is “…the only business in America that is wholly protected from any kind of liability. They can sell a gun to someone they know they shouldn’t, and they won’t be sued. There will be no consequences” during an Iowa campaign stop on October 7, 2015. Politifact rated that charge “False” but that hasn’t stopped her from repeating it over and over again.
A new poll commissioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation indicates that despite this line of attack, Clinton has been unsuccessful in getting the public to agree that the law needs to be repealed.
Some 72 percent of those surveyed agree that the PLCAA “should be kept and we should punish the criminals who commit these acts not the law-abiding manufacturers and retailers of lawful products which get misused” instead of “this law should be repealed because the current protection enables manufacturers and retailers to sell guns to people who shouldn’t have them, because they know they cannot be sued and don’t face any consequences” (26 percent). Only 4 percent were not sure.
A majority of voters in all regions of the country say the statement about keeping PLCAA more closely reflects their opinion (Midwest: 70 percent, Northeast: 64 percent, South: 73 percent, West: 75 percent). This holds true even for a majority of those who cast a vote for President Obama in the last election (53 percent) and for a majority of non-gun owners (56 percent).
Referencing the poll, Forbes Magazine’s Frank Miniter believes her stance will backfire much as Al Gore’s did in 2000 when he made gun control a major part of his presidential campaign.
After coming out this strongly against a basic American freedom, Hillary will have a hard time pivoting to a less extreme position on gun rights. It will be especially hard for her given that the U.S. Supreme Court’s balance is so obviously at stake in this November’s election.
I don’t know that I completely agree with Miniter because there is one big difference between this year and 2000, Clinton’s opposition can’t get their act together. The poll is however an indication that despite their best attempts, the gun ban lobby has been unsuccessful in moving the needle back to a time when most Americans were more disposed to support gun control than gun rights. But as Sebastian suggests in the link referenced above, if Hillary wins, all of that may not make a difference because a couple or three Supreme Court nominations and there will effectively be no Second Amendment.