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View Diary: Rolling Back Legal Immunity for the Gun Industry (19 comments)

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  •  Defects? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, Kickemout
    Under standard product liability law, manufacturers are liable for defect in the design and construction of their products.
    Which is why steak knife manufacturers are not sued out of business for making a sharp item designed to cut meat, even if it happens to be human meat that gets cut.

    If a firearm does what it is designed to do, that is not a defect in design or construction. If that was a valid basis for liability, I'd have gotten out of every speeding ticket I ever had, since the manufacturer was clearly liable for selling me a car that could go that fast...

    •  Agreed. I'm wondering what the diarist or (0+ / 0-)

      the endorsers of this idea think the gun manufacturers are or could be responsible for liability-wise that they're currently protected from.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:49:10 AM PST

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    •  So why the immunity law? (7+ / 0-)

      You suggest there is no need for a special laws to grant legal immunity to gun manufacturers and gun sellers.

      I agree (and so does Rep Schiff): guns operate the way they are designed to operate.  So there is no need for gun manufacturers to ask for or for congress to grant any immunity above and beyond what is applicable to other product makers and sellers.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 08:52:17 AM PST

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      •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy, VClib, nextstep

        If people opposed to guns did not see such baseless lawsuits as a tool, and could not find judges willing to hear cases whose justification is no more serious than "the knife manufacturer is liable because knives are sharp", then we would not need such immunization of the manufacturers.

        Hamilton v. Accu-Tek, Young v. Bryco Arms, et al are examples of the notion that anyone can file a lawsuit about anything and find a judge to give a favorable ruling on it.

        Suits like this are an attempt to legislate from the bench. The immunization is a result of these cases, for reasons as stated in Martin v. Harrington & Richardson, Inc., where the court stated: "Imposing liability for the sale of handguns, which would in practice drive manufacturers out of business, would produce a handgun ban by judicial fiat in the face of the decision by the legislature to allow its citizens to possess handguns."

        Similarly, in Wasylow v. Glock, Inc., the court said, "It is the province of legislative or authorized administrative bodies, and not the judicial branch, to advance through democratic channels policies that would directly or indirectly either ban some classes of handguns or transform firearm enterprises into insurers against misuse of their products. Frustration at the failure of legislatures to enact laws sufficient to curb handgun injuries is not adequate reason to engage the judicial forum in efforts to implement a broad policy change."

        Immunization in this case is nothing more than forcing people who want a policy change to go through the proper channels for that change, i.e. the legislature.

        •  Shamash - great comment (0+ / 0-)

          People who wanted to limit access to guns were trying to use the courts to end run the legislature. Thank you for your very informative comment. You should think about expanding it into a diary if the issue of repealing the PLCAA becomes more credible.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:33:54 AM PST

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