Democrat Lawmakers Push New Gun Law That Would Allow People to Sue Gun Makers

Written by Sasha Reva

A couple Democratic California lawmakers would like to make it easier to sue gun companies for liability in shootings that cause injuries or deaths. Some of the critics believe that it’s true purpose was to force gun manufacturers out of business. The bill is modeled after a New York law that was passed last year. 

When someone is injured or killed by gunfire it’s very hard for the victim or their family to hold the gun manufacturer or dealer responsible by suing them because of the liability. Many federal laws already prevents lawsuits such as these from happening. 

But proponents of the bill say that not allowing those lawsuits is unique to the gun industry,”Almost every industry in the U.S. is held liable for what their products do. … The gun industry is the one exception,” Assemblyman Phil Ting said. “Financial repercussions may encourage the firearms industry and dealers to be more responsible.” 

The bill is co-authored by Chris Ward of San Diego and Mike Gipson of Carson. “This is absolutely personal to me,” said Gipson.  “The goal is to create an environment where the gun industry is held accountable,” Tanya Schardt said. 

Chuck Michel, who is a civil rights attorney and president of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, said that this goal will likely backfire, “As a matter of policy, to try and shift the blame for the criminal misuse of a lawful product that is used far more often to save lives and protect lives than to take them is a terrible idea,” he said. 

Photo Cred: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File