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NY legislature passes bill enabling civil suits against gunmakers

The New York state legislature has passed a bill that would give plaintiffs the private right of action to file civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers.

A06762, approved by the New York Assembly Tuesday and by the state Senate on June 3,  is reportedly the first such bill of its kind in the nation to be approved.

It addresses a 2005 federal law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products.

Among its provisions, the bill states: “Any person, firm, corporation or association that has been damaged as a result of a gun industry’s member’s acts or omissions in violation of this article shall be entitled to bring an action for recovery of damages or to enforce this article in the supreme court or federal district court.”

Under the heading justification, the bill states: “With the passage of this bill, it is our hope that the right of the People to hold the firearms industry accountable will be restored.”

“Over 74 percent of all guns recovered from violent crimes and shootings in New York are trafficked in from out-of-state,” Assemblymember Patricia Fahey, who sponsored the bill in the Assembly, said in a statement Tuesday before its passage.

“Right now, only one industry in the United States enjoys blanket immunity from civil liability under federal law for negligence in the use of their products; the gun industry. Passing this landmark legislation will allow gun manufacturers knowingly utilizing bad actors and dealers to market their products to be held civilly liable for the damage they cause on our streets.”

 

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