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"Why does the gun industry deserve special protection?"

...runs the rhetorical question posed by anti-gun litigators. "Because the gun industry is under special attack," responds Eugene Volokh (Oct. 9). A version of the federal pre-emption litigation recommended in this space (Apr. 4-6; my hearing statement) may be on the way to passing Congress soon, but proponents have made what sounds like a rather major concession to win the support of Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), by allowing suits to proceed against guns deemed defective; trial lawyers have long pushed the idea that the absence of some feature such as a timed trigger lock is really a "design defect" for which manufacturers ought to be held liable. If such theories are left unscathed by the new legislation, the push for gun-control-through-litigation is likely to continue (Jesse J. Holland, "Gun Makers May Win Exemption From Suits", Washington Post, Oct. 9). See also Pejman Yousefzadeh, Oct. 9.

More: Eugene Volokh has follow-up posts on the federalism aspects of the pre-emption bill, here and here (Oct. 10)

[cross-posted from Overlawyered where it ran Oct. 9, 2003]

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.