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Victory for Sporting Arms Industry


President Bush and Rob Keck, CEO of the NWTF
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WASHINGTON - President Bush put his signature on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act on Oct. 26, and sealed the fate of future frivolous lawsuits brought upon the sporting arms industry.

The House of Representatives passed the Senate-approved version of the bill last week by a 283-144 vote.

"Our laws should punish criminals who use guns to commit crimes, not law-abiding manufacturers of lawful products," President Bush said in statement after the bill was passed. "This legislation will further our efforts to stem frivolous lawsuits, which cause a logjam in America's courts, harm America's small businesses, and benefit a handful of lawyers at the expense of victims and consumers. I look forward to signing this legislation into law."

This legislation puts an end to "junk" lawsuits filed against the sporting arms industry seeking to hold retailers, distributors and manufacturers responsible for the illegal acts of criminals.

"The signing of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act by President Bush is a huge step in the right direction for the sporting arms industry, and preserving the family tradition of hunting," said Rob Keck, CEO of the NWTF. "The effects of this law, however, stretch much further than the sporting arms industry. Without sporting arms, there would be no hunting, without hunting, there would be no conservation, and without conservation, there would be no wildlife."

Attending the signing were representatives of major conservation and firearms groups including Rob Keck, of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and representatives from the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

"This is an historic day for freedom," said Wayne LaPierre, NRA's executive vice president. "I would like to thank President Bush for signing the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in 20 years into law. History will show that this law helped save the American firearms industry from collapse under the burden of these ruinous and politically motivated lawsuits."

Recently, the NWTF finalized a four-year $1 million commitment to the NSSF's Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Fund, which has played a key role in fending off frivolous lawsuits against the firearm industry. In August, the NWTF donated another $100,000 to further the effort.

"Our industry offers its sincere thanks to the president and Congress for recognizing the importance of this much-needed legislation," said Doug Painter, president of the NSSF. "This law will not only help protect law-abiding businesses and the jobs of thousands nationwide, but it will also help ensure a positive future for our nation's hunting and shooting traditions and our firearms freedoms."

Even with the signing of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, the work of organizations such as the NWTF, NSSF and NRA isn't done.

"This isn't the end of legal challenges put against our industry," Keck said. "Our job is never done. We must remain vigilant and work together as a team, as a band of brothers."

For more information about the NWTF, call (800) THE-NWTF. For more information about the NSSF, call (203) 426-1320 or visit For more information about the NRA, visit

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