Top Gun Manufacturer Is Facing a Disturbing New Lawsuit
(UnitedVoice.com) – In 2005, Congress shielded the gun industry from legal liabilities arising from those using their products. As mass shootings become more common in the United States, some victims in a limited number of states are turning to their own laws to get around the federal shield as they seek justice. In at least two states, it appears to be working.
In April, police arrested Frank James for firing dozens of bullets on a New York City subway train. He wounded 10 people in the shooting. Now, one woman is using a new state law that allows victims to sue gun makers to get justice.
Federal Shield Protecting Gun Manufacturers Breaks Down
For decades, Democrats have tried to introduce gun control measures at the federal level to stop the sale of certain types of guns. In particular, they’ve gone after AR-15s and other types of rifles. In 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) made it very difficult for victims of mass gun violence to sue gun manufacturers. It protects gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers from civil liability when someone uses their products during criminal acts. In many ways, it’s the same type of shield law provided to Big Tech, shielding them from civil liability when users commit crimes using their platforms.
In 2011, the CEO of gunmaker Sturm, Mike Fifer, said during the National Rifle Association convention that the PLCAA is likely the only reason the gun industry still exists. In some states, that sentiment could be changing.
Victim Sues Gun Maker Under New State Law
In June 2021, New York passed a law allowing mass gun violence victims to sue gun manufacturers. The law classified guns’ improper or illegal marketing as a nuisance to get around the federal shield. It’s a technical term but an important one in law that allows residents to sue gun manufacturers in state courts.
Ilene Steur was one of James’ victims. On Tuesday, May 31, Stuer filed a lawsuit against gun manufacturer Glock and its parent company. She accused the company of creating a public nuisance and endangering public health and safety. The lawsuit contends that Glock marketed its product to show its high capacity and how easy it is to conceal. The lawsuit argued the marketing appeals to those who have criminal intent.
In addition, Steur contends that Glock purposely oversupplied the marketplace with its gun to create a secondary market for its product, failed to train dealers properly on identifying illegal transactions, and didn’t terminate contracts with distributors with high numbers of guns traced to crimes.
Will the case make it to trial? On Wednesday, May 25, a federal district judge rejected a gun manufacturer’s claim that the New York law was unconstitutional.
This case could have widespread implications for gun ownership in a handful of Democratic-led states.
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