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After Kansas City's mass shooting, Jason Kander wants this gun law removed

Guns at Frontier Justice gun store in Lee's Summit, Missouri.
Chris Haxel
KCUR 89.3
Guns at Frontier Justice gun store in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander doesn't know what law might have stopped the mass shooting at Kansas City's Union Station. And rather than propose new laws, Kander told Up To Date the first step should be to remove a law that protects gun companies and manufacturers from civil litigation.

Signed into law in 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protects gun dealers, manufacturers and companies from civil lawsuit when firearms are used with malice.

Jason Kander, former Missouri secretary of state, wants the law revoked to force gun companies to reform, much like lawsuits forced the tobacco, auto-makers and other major industries to act more responsibly.

Smart gun technology exists and could be used to reduce gun-related crimes. Kander said the firearms industry lacks an incentive to create a safer product because it is shielded from civil liability, which compelled other industries to more carefully police the safety of their products, advertisements and sales.

"If PLCAA didn't exist, if we hadn't passed it in 2005, juries all over this country would have looked at that already and said, 'That's not reasonable. You have the technology to do this and to keep people safe,' and it would have forced them into actually having to create smart guns," Kander told Up To Date.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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