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New York Passes Legislation Making it Possible to Hold Firearm Manufacturers Legally Liable

Washington, DC — With cases of gun violence spiking throughout New York, Giffords, the gun violence prevention group led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, lauded New York State for passing groundbreaking legislation that could lead to firearm manufacturers being held legally liable for harm caused by their weapons. 

“This bill will provide New Yorkers with an avenue to seek justice, reopening the courtroom doors for victims who have suffered as a direct result of the gun industry’s irresponsible practices and reintroducing accountability to an industry that has acted with impunity for too long,” said David Pucino, Senior Staff Attorney for Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Giffords thanks Senator Myrie and Assemblymember Fahy for their leadership on this issue and applauds New York for the passage of this first-of-its-kind legislation.”

The bill, which was signed by Governor Cuomo today, makes New York the first state to explicitly allow lawsuits against gunmakers. In 2005, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) became federal law, granting gun dealers and manufacturers unprecedented immunity from civil lawsuits. Senate Bill 7196, sponsored by Senator Myrie, and Assembly Bill 6762-B, sponsored by Assemblywoman Fahy, states that companies that advertise, manufacture, sell or import firearms that “knowingly or recklessly” endanger public health or safety through their business practices may be sued for the harm that they cause.