U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation … holding gun manufacturers liable for the harm their products cause,” a July 6 press release from the New York governor’s website announced. “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.”
That, of course, is a lie. Gun manufacturers have the same legal liabilities as other industries for things like defective products and deceptive trade practices and knowing violations of the law. Were this not so, we would not see personal injury attorneys vying for clients over deep pocket claims. Were this not so, we would not see FFLs losing their licenses and facing civil and criminal charges for negligent or deliberate violations and there would be no market for retainers with legal firms that can help them establish compliant policies and procedures.
In truth, all other industries are immune from the types of lawsuits New York Democrats demand be imposed on the firearms industry. Think of, say, a Chevy stolen years ago in another state being driven by a drunken criminal who then runs someone over — and holding GM accountable. That’s what’s being set up here for gun makers, as another of the bill’s deceptive claims shows anyone who cares to look a bit deeper into them:
“[A]ccording to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives statistics, 74% of firearms used in crimes in New York are purchased outside of New York.”
So what’s the deception?
The way that’s presented out of context, and the false correlation/causation equivalency to make it look like selling guns in other states with fewer prior restraint infringements is part of an unrestricted “iron pipeline” flow that’s flooding the Empire State, and that it somehow proves the legal and moral liability of those lawfully conducting business by observing state and federal laws.
Let’s explore where the “crime guns” number came from, ATF’s Firearms Tracing System report. First, it’s important to note an up-front disclaimer:
“Law enforcement agencies may request firearms traces for any reason… Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.”
Next, let’s look at “time-to-crime rates for firearms with a New York recovery” (defined by ATF as “the period of time … between the first retail sale of a firearm and a law enforcement recovery of that firearm during a use, or suspected use, in a crime”):
“1/1/2019-12/31/2019 New York Average Time-to Crime: 11.75 Years
1/1/2019-12/31/2019 National Average Time-to Crime: 8.29 Years”
That means many of the guns were initially legally sold longer than 11.75 years ago. Gun manufacturers should be held liable for that?
There does seem to be an oversight, though, and it’s unclear if it’s intentional: Suppose “New York’s finest” again mistake a suspect’s identity and shoot another unarmed black man, like they did Amadou Diallo. Should the gun manufacturer be sued?
For that matter, what about the broom manufacturer in the Abner Louima “incident”?
And, of course, the violence monopolists are not done trying to hobble and control an industry they want even more exclusive arrangements with. Using terms like “reasonable” and “responsible” to define which practices will not be criminalized leaves the definitions in the hands of those who will rule them to mean exactly what they want them to mean. If they control the language, the law means what they say it does.
There’s one other danger in the new “law” that we overlook at our peril:
“Additionally, many New Yorkers, including many 20 children, are gravely injured or killed unintentionally due to the 21 firearm industry’s failure to implement reasonable safety measures and 22 the legislature finds that this failure also warrants liability.”
That absolutely opens the door to a future requirement for so-called “smart guns,” and the outlawing of “dumb” ones, like we’ve seen New Jersey try to mandate.
It’s clear the object here is to fragment the firearms industry, destroying some companies while hobbling others through lawfare. Companies that don’t kiss the ring and embrace every demand will be made uninsurable and inoperable unless they dutifully wear the yoke of those who demand total control. “Allowable” products will be priced out of reach of those of modest means. That’s why the apparatchiks at Michael Bloomberg’s subversive vanity project, Everytown are leading the cheer by calling objections to it “meritless claims.”
What’s meritless is the lie that this “doesn’t violate the Second Amendment.” Of course, it does, despite tyrannical “precedents” from robed establishment elites ruling that restraints, restrictions, and bans against “the people” aren’t really “infringements.” As such, this bill is treasonous, as are its supporters.
Unfortunately, I’m not expecting to see gun manufacturers taking the lead in denying their products and services to New York State, which is what ought to happen. It’s a corporations/stockholders thing, and many in the industry fear pushback will result in a ramping up of actions against them, particularly from a state boastful about its in-their-face aggression.
Still, there is one segment of the industry that could withhold sales and not miss a beat: Ammunition suppliers. Steve Hornady showed us the way several years ago when Cuomo tried to pressure banks and insurance companies to “blackball” the industry. With the current crunch, any supply not picked up by New York (and California, and New Jersey, and…) would be snapped up in a minute by eager gun owners, particularly for “common use” law enforcement calibers. Consumer prices could even go down.
Take note of who takes the lead in this, if anyone does. Because “rope-selling capitalists” who just want to hide their heads in the sand and hope no one notices them will eventually lose those heads. And in the meantime, they are giving preferential treatment to those tasked with obeying tyrants like Cuomo and enforcing all of their citizen disarmament edicts against the rest of us.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.