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A firearms industry trade group and 12 gun companies, including Smith & Wesson, have filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that a New York law that makes it easier to prosecute gun manufacturers is unconstitutional.
In July, former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law that allows government agencies and individuals to bring civil suits against those involved in the sale, production, distribution, importation and marketing of firearms for failing to prevent the illegal use of firearms. The National Shooting Sports Foundation – one of the plaintiffs in Thursday’s trial – said in a statement that New York law is ” designed to “blame” gun companies for misuse or illegal possession of firearms in New York City, regardless of where they were purchased. The plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the law on the grounds that it attempts to override a federal law passed in 2005 which protects arms manufacturers from prosecution. In response to this lawsuit, New York State Attorney General Letitia James released a statement in which she promises to fight this lawsuit: “Make no mistake: we will aggressively defend this law and will not back down from their continued attempts to endanger New Yorkers.” The context
Under New York law, gun companies are t enues to institute “reasonable controls” to prevent the illicit possession, use, marketing or sale of firearms. For example, sellers are expected to use controls to prevent product theft or sales to “traffickers, persons prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law,” or people who risk injuring themselves or others ”. The law states that state and local government groups, as well as anyone who has suffered harm as a result of non-compliance with the law, can bring civil suits for violations, meaning that victims of violence army could seek to hold arms manufacturers accountable in court. In July, Andrew Cuomo also declared a gun violence disaster emergency, which he described as a “public health crisis.” At the heart of Thursday’s trial is the Law on the Protection of the Legal Trade in Arms, a federal law of 2005 that protects manufacturers of weapons against any liability when their products are used in crimes. Letitia James said in her statement that New York law protects the public and “fights this federal overrun” of 725.
Article translated from Forbes US – Author: Lisa Kim
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