Monday, September 26, 2022

New California law allows civil litigation against gun manufacturers

A California bill signed into law Tuesday will allow residents to sue the manufacturers of guns that are used in crimes.

A 2005 federal law prevents gun manufacturers from civil litigation when their products are used in crimes. The office of Gov. Gavin Newsom said the new state law uses an exemption to the federal law that allows firearms makers or sellers to be sued for violating state laws on the sale or marketing of guns.

“To the victims of gun violence and their families: California stands with you. The gun industry can no longer hide from the devastating harm their products cause,” Mr. Newsom said in a news release. “Our kids, families and communities deserve streets free of gun violence and gun makers must be held accountable for their role in this crisis. Nearly every industry is held liable when people are hurt or killed by their products — guns should be no different.”

California’s legislative strategy appears to be taking its cues from the victims’ families of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.

CNN reported that the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the families to sue Remington Arms Co. in November 2019 on the grounds that the manufacturer’s marketing strategy for the AR-15-style rifle used in the killings sold its image as a militaristic combat weapon. 

Doing so violated Connecticut’s law against deceptive marketing practices, according to the network.

In February, The New York Times reported that nine families from the shooting settled with Remington for $73 million.

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