N.Y. City To Sue 30 Gun Makers
Associated Press - 19 June 2000
| NEW YORK - The city plans to sue approximately 30 gun manufacturers for negligent
marketing and distribution of guns, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said Monday.
The lawsuit, to be filed in federal court Tuesday, seeks unspecified damages but
Corporation Counsel Michael Hess said it could run in the tens of millions of dollars.
``Manufacturers sell guns and have guns distributed in states with very weak gun laws,
knowing that these guns will be transported from weak gun law states to strong gun law
states,'' Hess said.
The city will also cite deceptive advertising used by gun makers, such as saying that
homes with guns are safer than homes without firearms. Hess said there are numerous
studies that prove that theory wrong.
Among the defendants will be Smith & Wesson, the nation's largest gunmaker, Hess
said. Reached after business hours, the company said no one was available to
Last year, a Brooklyn federal jury found several major handgun makers liable for
shootings because of irresponsible marketing. But only three defendants - American
Arms, Inc., Beretta USA, Inc., and Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc. - were ordered
to pay $500,000 to a man who had survived being shot in the head with an illegal
handgun. The mixed verdict left both sides claiming victory.
However, U.S. District Court Judge Jack Weinstein did dismiss the cases against gun
makers in the shootings of six victims because the jury, despite finding liability, failed to
award the victims any damages.
The Giuliani administration's move follows similar lawsuits filed against the firearms
industry by cities including New Orleans, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and Cleveland.
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