New York Governor Cuomo enacted a bill leaving gun manufacturers legally liable for violence in the state.
The legislation, a first of its kind, allows sellers, manufacturers, importers, or marketers to be held “liable for the harm their products cause.” A statement reads, “The products can be considered a public nuisance even if the gun manufacturer did not purposely cause harm to the public. The Attorney General and any city corporation counsel can take action on behalf of any locality, as can members of the public, corporations and associations.”
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The legislation counters the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, established in 2005 to protect the gun industry from lawsuits. Cuomo revealed a second bill, which closes a loophole that previously allowed individuals with active warrants for their arrest from purchasing firearms. Along with the bills, Cuomo announced a $138.7 million plan to combat gun violence in New York.
The legislation arrives amid a national surge in crime, NYC experienced a 38 percent increase in shootings compared to last year. “Of all the challenges we face every day in New York, few are as difficult to bear as the scourge of gun violence plaguing our communities,” Governor Cuomo said. “The only industry in the United States of America immune from lawsuits are the gun manufacturers, but we will not stand for that any longer. … We went from COVID to the epidemic of gun violence.”