Firearms Negligence Research Paper

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Isaul M. Montez Samantha Burke Business Law I MG260 30 November 2014 Blanket Protection Who is Liable For Firearms Negligence? The onslaught of horrific incidents of gun violence over the last year has created within the general public a fiercely debated topic of liability. Should victims of these crimes have recourse against anyone other than the perpetrator of the criminal act? The issue of whether the civil justice system should respond to these incidents is not a new topic. Over a decade ago courtrooms were saturated with litigation seeking to hold firearms manufacturers and distributors liable for damages resulting from the illegal use of their product. Ultimately, in 2005 federal legislation passed through Congress that granted…show more content…
One argument is that it “deprives a states right to protect, or at least compensate, their citizenry by imposing civil liability on those manufacturers and dealers who failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the abuse and illegal trafficking of their weapons” (Morgenthau). Conversely, those who agree with the PLCAA feel that it “codified the common-law principles that have long applied in tort claims following shooting: if an otherwise lawful firearm has performed as it was designed and intended to do, its maker and seller are not liable for its misuse” (Johnson). One example of litigation that took place after the PLCAA was established was Daniel Williams et al v. Beemiller, Inc. Mr. Williams (plaintiff) was allowed to proceed with his suit against the manufacturer, distributor and dealer of the pistol used to shoot him. In this case, the shooter who was a convicted felon was barred from legally purchasing a firearm. The shooter traveled out of state to Ohio to purchase a large number of handguns, one of which was used to shoot the plaintiff. The complaint alleged that the…show more content…
The issue of gun violence liability, although a fervently debated topic, has been determined by our legal system with the application of the PLCAA. Regardless of the political view one may have, it appears that tort law will ultimately be shaped by the publics taste and tolerance for gun violence. Changes to our traditional liability framework will affect much more than how damages are allocated in gun cases. Rather, changes in liability theory and the application of immunities will likely impact all of tort law and how those damaged by the civil wrongs of others may be compensated. Works Cited Chu, Vivian S. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act: An Overview of Limiting Tort Liability of Gun Manufacturers. Congressional Research Service. Kindle Edition. 2012-12-20. Martin, Graham. “Manufacturers Liable For Gun-Related Crimes?” Lawyerist. 15 October 2012. Web. 30 November 2014. case/ Morgenthau, Robert M. “Let Shooting Victims Sue.” The Opinion Pages. The New York Times. 23 June 2013. Web. 30 November 2014. Olson, Walter. “Six Myths About The Law That Bans Gun Lawsuits” Powerline. 19 March 2013. Web. 30 November 2014.

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