Will Proposed Bill Hold Gun Manufacturers Liable for Crimes?
Two proposed bills were revealed Monday by WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Gov. Inslee, and Democratic legislators.
Bill would seemingly hold gun manufacturers liable for crimes?
Besides a second attempt to ban "assault" weapons in WA state, the other bill proposed by Democrats could potentially be much more wide-reaching.
According to information released by the AG's Office:
"The Firearm Industry Responsibility & Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice Act ensures that firearms manufacturers and sellers will face liability if they fail to establish, implement and enforce reasonable controls in the manufacture, sale, distribution and marketing of firearms."
What exactly that entails is not yet clear. It will likely be revealed with the language of the bill, which will be part of the agenda in the 2023 legislative session. Senators Jamie Pederson, Seattle, and House Rep David Hackney, Tukwila (both Democrats) are sponsoring the bill.
According to the AG's office:
"The bill ensures that victims have access to justice when the firearms industry fails to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals."
This language is very vague. How will gun manufacturers be 'required' to keep firearms out of the hands of "dangerous individuals?" And, does access to justice mean victims can sue these gun manufacturers over a crime committed by someone using a firearm?
We have reached out to Bianna Aho, Communications Director for the AG's Office, but have not received a reply.
Both bills will be part of the Democratic agenda when the legislature convenes on January 9th, 2023.