Soapbox

Another View: Law isn’t a gift to gunmakers

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, second from left, autographs a Senate race campaign poster at the state Democratic Party convention in Anaheim last May.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez, second from left, autographs a Senate race campaign poster at the state Democratic Party convention in Anaheim last May. Associated Press

The plague of gun violence demands a strong response at all levels of government.

While I affirm the constitutional right to bear arms, I support reasonable regulation of firearms, which is why I stand with President Barack Obama on this issue and have endorsed every measure he has taken to strengthen enforcement of existing gun laws.

I support the proposed ban on high-capacity magazines, child safety locks, waiting periods for gun sales, development of “smart gun” technology, universal background checks for all sales and closing the gun show loophole.

Before I cast a vote in the Congress, I thoroughly analyze each policy proposal to fully understand the far-reaching and sometimes unintended consequences.

In 2005, I voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“Sanders, Sanchez and the firearms industry,” Dan Morain, April 17). It makes gun manufacturers and distributors liable for violating state and federal law, but not for the criminal, unlawful or negligent acts of those who use their products.

The law does not grant blanket immunity to gun manufacturers and distributors, or give the gun industry protections that are not equal to those of other manufacturers of consumer goods under federal law.

Ask yourself: If a drunken driver crashes into your car and harms you, should Ford, Chevrolet or any car manufacturer be held accountable for the criminal act of the drunken driver? If someone uses a baseball bat or hammer to assault you, should the manufacturers be held criminally liable? If you said “no,” then you agree with the principle behind the 2005 law.

I voted for it to prevent frivolous lawsuits against manufacturers and also because it contains important gun control measures, such as requiring child safety locks and prohibiting the importation of armor-piercing “cop-killer” bullets.

Yes, guns are more dangerous than baseball bats, and that’s why I have always supported special restrictions on gun sales. I have always stood up for law enforcement, sensible gun control and safe California communities.

During my 20 years in Congress, I have a strong record of opposing the gun lobby. I have received 100 percent ratings from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and have proudly received F’s from the National Rifle Association.

As a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, common-sense gun control is a core issue to me. I’m a co-sponsor of legislation to expand background checks to cover all sales of firearms, to strengthen enforcement efforts and to prohibit sales of high-capacity magazines that serve no legitimate purpose.

Being in Congress means having to make tough decisions. I stand by my votes. You can count on me to stand up for you in the fight against gun violence.

Loretta Sanchez, an Orange County Democrat, represents the 46th Congressional District and is a candidate for U.S. Senate. She can be contacted at Loretta@loretta.org.

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