It’s Hard to Sue Gun Makers. New York Is Set to Change That

Luis Ferré-Sadurní

June 21, 2021

Originally published in New York Times on June 08, 2021.

State lawmakers passed a bill designed to get around a federal law giving gun manufacturers broad immunity from lawsuits, in hopes of cracking down on the smuggling of illegal weapons into New York.

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York State lawmakers passed legislation on Tuesday intended to allow civil lawsuits to be brought against firearm manufacturers and dealers, an attempt to circumvent the broad immunity gun companies currently enjoy under federal law.

The bill, passed by the Democratic-controlled State Legislature, is the first of its kind in the nation to specifically classify the illegal or improper marketing or sale of guns as a nuisance — a technical classification that state lawmakers say would open the gun industry to civil liability suits in New York.