Senate approves gun manufacturer liability immunity

Insurance & Liability Week
Monday, August 1, 2005

The United States Senate has approved legislation that would provide gun manufacturers and sellers with immunity from tort lawsuits filed in both state and federal courts and mandate that all pending actions be dismissed.
The Senate approved the controversial bill by a 65-31 vote, as several Democrats crossed party lines to join the overwhelming majority of Republicans in supporting the immunity.
The Senate vote drew sharp criticism from the Center for Justice & Democracy, which said it would leave victims of gun violence with few remedies.
“This bill would not only undermine efforts to make guns safer, but also make it more difficult for victims of gun violence to seek redress,” said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of CJD.
“It would slam shut the courthouse doors to victims of gun violence and remove all incentives for gun sellers and manufacturers to act safely in the future,” she said.
Since the gun industry remains unchecked by any regulatory or legislative authority, Doroshow said, civil lawsuits remain the only mechanism that can force firearms manufacturers and dealers to change their behavior, thereby protecting the public from future harm.

The legislation, S. 397, would bar any civil liability action from being brought against a gun manufacturer or seller for any damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm. All pending actions would be dismissed.
For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D

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