California legislators introduce bill to allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers

California legislators introduce bill to allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers

Three California lawmakers will introduce legislation to allow local governments and victims of gun violence to bring civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers whose products are used in the commission of crimes, opening a new front in the battle over gun safety legislation. The legislators say they will use a loophole in a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers and dealers from civil liability. That law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, contains an exception when those companies and sellers break state law. “We must make our communities safer. Almost every industry in the United States can be held liable for what their products do, but the gun industry is not held to the same standard,” Assemblyman Phil Ting (D) said in a statement announcing the legislation. “Financial repercussions may finally push them to be more responsible by improving their practices and adhering to California’s strict gun laws.” Ting’s office said the bill would focus on existing California laws that require gun manufacturers and sellers to conduct background checks and testing of those who seek to purchase firearms; ban sales of assault weapons and parts to make such weapons; implement safeguards against straw purchases and theft; and require the sales of firearm safety devices along with newly purchased guns. California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) and the Brady Campaign, a gun safety organization, are backing the bill. The measure is part of a broader push, spearheaded by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), to hold the gun industry accountable […]

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