Gunmakers Would Be Liable For Deaths Under New California Bill
Some California Democrats want to make it easier to hold gun manufacturers liable for shooting injuries or deaths.
Advocates for the measure say it aims to circumvent a federal law that prevents these types of lawsuits and enables the firearm industry to behave recklessly.
Critics of the bill say it’s an illegal overreach, and its true intention is to force gun manufacturers to go out of business.
“Almost every industry in the U.S. is held liable for what their products do. … The gun industry is the one exception,” Assembly member Phil Ting said. “Financial repercussions may encourage the firearms industry and dealers to be more responsible.”
Assembly members Chris Ward and Mike Gipson co-authored the bill, known as AB 1594. Gipson’s son, his son’s fiancé, and a man named Gary Patrick Moody were shot in Los Angeles in April 2020. Gipson’s son and his fiancé survived, but Moody was killed.
“This is absolutely personal to me,” said Gipson, a former police officer.
However, gun advocates rebuked the bill, calling it another attempt by progressives to ban guns. Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, compared it to suing Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) because he owns a winery and people were drinking and driving after using his products.
“He can’t ban guns, but he’s going to try to bankrupt lawful firearms-related businesses,” Paredes said.