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CA: Gun violence victims can sue firearm manufacturers

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 20:28:44-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KERO) — California leads the nation in stringent gun safety laws and now, Governor Gavin Newsom is clearing the way for gun violence victims to sue gun manufacturers.

Since 2005 a federal law has protected gun manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits when the weapons they make are used in crimes. However, Newsom signed a new law Tuesday that according to his office, uses an exemption to get around the statute.

The bill allows gun makers or sellers to be sued in civil court for crimes involving firearms.

“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,” said Governor Newsom in a statement. “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.”

“There have been more mass shootings in our nation than days in the year, and yet many members of the gun industry continue to use a combination of bullying, exploitation, and fear to rack up profits from the very tools used in these shootings,” said Attorney General Bonta. “There is no reason that the gun industry should be the only industry exempt from responsibility for the harm that its products cause, especially when its products are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans each year. In California, we refuse to settle with thoughts and prayers as innocent lives are lost — we demand and will deliver urgent action, now. I am grateful to the Governor for signing AB 1594 which will allow Californians to hold the gun industry accountable for the harm caused by its products. In California, we won’t let this industry off the hook.”

“Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among kids and teens in the United States, surpassing car accidents. I see no better argument for stronger gun safety legislation. I thank the Governor for signing AB 1594,” added Assemblymember Ting (D-San Francisco), one of the co-authors of the bill. “For far too long, the firearms industry has enjoyed federal immunity from civil lawsuits, providing them no incentive for them to follow our laws. Hitting their bottom line may finally compel them to step up to reduce gun violence by preventing illegal sales and theft.”