Tags: Texas | Lawsuit | Defends | Gun | Industry

Texas Lawsuit Defends Gun Industry

Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM

Twenty-five legislators were plaintiffs in the lawsuit scheduled to be filed Wednesday in state court at Lubbock, Texas. It contends the cities and counties conspired to violate the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause of Article One of the U.S. Constitution.

"We are filing this lawsuit to stop these cities from damaging our right to keep and bear arms and the right of gun stores to conduct their businesses free from harassing lawsuits," said state Rep. Suzanna Hupp, R-Lampasas.

Jerry Patterson, a former state senator and president of the Civil Liberties Defense Foundation, said the plaintiffs want to put a halt to "attempts by litigious attorneys to hold lawful industries liable for the criminal misuse of their products."

Since October 1998, 31 cities, counties and the state of New York have filed lawsuits against the gun industry, retailers and trade associations. They seek to hold the gun industry liable for crime costs such as emergency medical services and law enforcement.

The lawsuits have not been decided on their merits as yet, according to the foundation, but they have had damaging effects, such as forcing three gun makers into bankruptcy.

Beyond the Second Amendment question, the lawsuit said the legal action by the 19 cities and five counties drove up the costs of guns. It alleged if the entire industry is bankrupted, more than 600 Texas gun stores would go out of business. The legislators also argued that the lawsuits attempted to usurp the power of the Texas Legislature to regulate guns in its own state.

The lawsuit names the cities of Atlanta; Boston; Bridgeport, Conn.; Chicago; Camden, N.J.; Cincinnati; Miami; Newark, N.J.; Gary, Ind.; New Orleans; St. Louis; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Wilmington, Del.; Compton, Calif.; West Hollywood, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Mateo, Calif.; Berkeley, Calif.; and the counties of Los Angeles, Calif.; Miami-Dade, Fla.; Camden, N.J.; Wayne, Mich.; Alameda, Calif.; and the District of Columbia.

Copyright 2000 by United Press International.

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Twenty-five legislators were plaintiffs in the lawsuit scheduled to be filed Wednesday in state court at Lubbock, Texas. It contends the cities and counties conspired to violate the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause of Article One of the U.S. Constitution. We are...
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Wednesday, 15 November 2000 12:00 AM
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