Should Gun Makers Face Lawsuits After Mass Shootings?

Nov 14, 2017

On the heels of the Las Vegas and Texas massacres, Newtown families want gun makers held liable. They’re in court again. Could this be the way?

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A big gun case opening in Connecticut today. Families of the victims of the Newtown elementary school shooting going to court again to try to hold the maker of the assault-style rifle used by Adam Lanza on that terrible day liable for those deaths. Twenty-six people – mostly children – died. Remington is now a target. Federal law protects gun makers. It’s a tough case. But after Newtown and Orlando and Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, we’re watching. This hour, On Point: liability and guns. —Tom Ashbrook


Emily Bazelon, staff writer for the New York Times Magazine. (@emilybazelon)

John Donohue, law professor at Stanford University. (@JohnDonohueSLS)

Richard Parker, op-ed contributor to The New York Times and columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (@richardparkertx)

David Kopel, associate policy analyst for Cato Institute, adjunct professor of constitutional law at Denver University. (@davekopel)

Lois Beckett, senior reporter for The Guardian covering gun policy, politics and criminal justice. (@loisbeckett)

From Tom’s Reading List:

New York Times: Why Christians Must Support Gun Control — “I won’t pretend to be more religious than the next person, nor am I afraid to call myself a Christian. Like a lot of Americans, I have a complicated relationship with my faith. But that shouldn’t lessen our sense of moral obligation in the face of what some blithely call the new normal. Nor should we fall for the siren call of more guns, the unproven good-guy-with-a-gun myth, something many of my fellow Texans have indulged in over the past few days. Instead, we have a duty to confront these machines and the profiteering behind them.”

Stanford UniversityViolent Crime Increases In Right-To-Carry States — “Examining decades of crime data, Stanford Law Professor John Donohue’s analysis shows that violent crime in RTC states was estimated to be 13 to 15 percent higher – over a period of 10 years – than it would have been had the state not adopted the law.”

Wall Street Journal: Sandy Hook Lawsuit Against Gun Maker Heads To Connecticut’s Top Court — “Nearly five years after a shooter killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a lawsuit brought against a gunmaker by families of those killed is slated to be heard Tuesday in Connecticut’s highest court.”

The Hill: What If There Were Serious Gun Controls? — “For people convicted of domestic violence, even a misdemeanor, how about a lifetime prohibition on firearms possession?”

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