Senator Tim Kaine tackles guns and student debt

Sen. Tim Kaine, photo courtesy U.S. Senate.

PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) —  Senator Tim Kaine introduced a bill on Jan. 28 that would open up gun manufacturers to lawsuits.

Currently gun makers are protected by law against civil liability. The proposed bill would lift that shield.

Sen. Kaine says the government doesn’t protect other manufacturers of other products and should not protect gun makers either. That said, he admits passing such a bill is an uphill battle. “I would say right now, the chance of this passing is slim because Congress has proven unwilling to even embrace reasonable rules the American public supports, but that doesn’t mean we should quit trying.”

How such a law would work he says would ultimately be for the courts to decide. Hypothetically, it would allow someone to sue for a gun defect, such as a safety that did not work.

Meantime, Sen. Kaine and Virginia Senator Mark Warner are teaming up to tackle the rising costs of college and student loan debt. The senators met with students from public and private schools across the state Wednesday for a round table discussion.

Sen. Kaine told 10 On Your Side they were both struck by the stories they heard, particularly one from a student at Longwood, “She and her fiance, her long time boyfriend, they’re about to get married and graduate and they’re happy to be married and happy to graduate but they’re going to have $90,000 in loans.”

Sen. Kaine says he is already working on legislation and wants more dialogue to make sure they find real solutions. He believes college costs will be one of the defining issues in our government over the next few years.

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