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Taking Aim at Regulation by Litigation
The National Rifle Association is in the process of trying to kill Regulation by Litigation, at least as it applies to the firearms industry. The Senate is expected to soon vote on S. 659, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The purpose of the proposed legislation is to prevent municipal governments and activist organizations from seeking through court order gun control restrictions that the organizations could not achieve through the open democratic legislative or administrative processes.

Regulation by Litigation, the use of the judicial system to achieve political and economic goals while bypassing the legislative or regulatory processes, is a fundamentally anti-democratic method of policy development. In contrast to the attempt by activists and some governments to have courts mandate new regulations, the NRA is utilizing the democratic process to prevent additional abuses of the judicial system.

Watchdog organizations openly admit to wanting to use the judicial process to achieve their desired policy goals. In fact they go so far as to acknowledge that they are seeking more extreme policy changes than could ever be achieved through the regulatory process. For example, an article describes the Consumer Federation of America as believing "that firearms need to be subject to the same kinds of regulations governing nearly all other consumer products --as well as accountability in court to people who seek legal justice." An official of the Brady Center is quoted as saying that "[r]egulation and litigation shouldn't be seen as substitutes for one another. They should be seen as two very necessary ways to give makers of dangerous products an incentive to both sell and design their products safely."

Thus, even if the government were to take over the design of firearms, that would still be insufficient to achieve the activists' policy goals. The activists would still want to use lawsuits, not to ensure compliance with the new regulations but to achieve even more drastic policy changes. No wonder the NRA is seeking legislation to prevent such anti-democratic aspirations from being realized.

Winston approves of the NRA's actions but finds them too limited. Winston is eager to go hunting after bigger game than just firearms litigation. Right now he is thinking about how the entire Regulation by Litigation industry would look mounted over his fireplace.
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