Gunnery Network
Gunnery Network

The Anti ABA
American Bar Association Lawyers
Opposes Gun Maker's Lawsuit Immunity
8 August 2001 - Wesley J. Crane - Staff Writer

Editors Note: One day after the California Supreme Court ruled 5 to 1 that gun manufacturers cannot be held responsible when legal products are misused by criminals, the American Bar Association passes a resolution opposing  legislation that would protect the firearms industry from such frivolous lawsuits. Report Courtesy NRA-ILA - Source: ABA Press Release - Reuters News Service.

ABA Opposes Reckless Lawsuit Immunity For Gun Makers

ATLANTA (Gunnery Network News) - The American Bar Association on Tuesday passed a resolution opposing state and federal legislation that would protect the firearms industry from civil lawsuits.

The resolution, introduced by the Los Angeles County Bar Association, was in response to legislation pending in Congress that would strip courts of jurisdiction to hear civil claims against gunmakers.

The legislation is similar to bills enacted in 19 states in the last two years creating a special immunity for the firearms industry from claims brought by government bodies. Five states have also passed laws protecting gunmakers from suits, including those brought by individuals, on negligence or nuisance theories.

There are a dozen lawsuits by California cities and counties, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, that are set for trial in San Diego.

``The American Bar Association should approve this proposed recommendation because the ABA continues to support stronger -- not weaker -- legal responsibility and accountability for public safety by gun manufacturers and dealers,'' the Los Angeles County Bar said.

The Los Angeles bar said these legislative proposals took the power away from courts to determine civil claims against a single industry ``with a great deal of political clout'' while liability was preserved for all other industries.

``There should be uniform agreement that it is up to the courts to determine whether the gun industry or any other industry is liable under applicable state common law with the context of a given set of facts,'' it said. ``There is no legitimate reason why this industry should be exempt from the same common law principles that govern all other industries.''

On Monday the California Supreme Court ruled that gun manufacturers cannot be held responsible when products are used to commit crimes.

The court overturned a state appellate decision that would have opened the way for victims of gun violence to sue manufacturers for the harms their products caused. The case grew out of a 1993 shooting rampage at a San Francisco high rise.