Mass shootings are increasingly common. The CDC reports that between 2019 and 2020, the firearm homicide rate rose 35 percent. In fact, over 220 people were killed by gun violence, just over Independence Day weekend 2022.
According to the Washington Post, the “surge in gun violence comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021, with more than 43 million guns estimated to have been purchased during that period, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal data on gun background checks. At the same time, the rate of gun deaths in those years hit the highest level since 1995, with more than 45,000 fatalities each year.”
While mass shootings make up less than one percent of firearm fatalities, many people are fed up and frightened. Families of mass shooting victims often wonder whether gun manufacturers can be held responsible for manufacturing and selling deadly weapons. Unfortunately, the answer is complicated.
Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) provides broad civil immunity to gun manufacturers and dealers under certain circumstances. For the most part, personal injury, products liability and wrongful death claims are not allowed. However, there are some exceptions.
You may be able to recover damages if you meet one or more of the following exceptions:
- If you’re bringing the case against a person or company who was convicted of knowingly transferring a firearm, knowing the gun would be used to commit violent crime;
- Negligent entrustment or negligence per se against a gun seller;
- The gun manufacturer or seller knowingly violated a state or federal firearm sales and marketing statute;
- Breach of contract or breach of warranty cases regarding the purchase of a firearm;
- There was a death, physical injury or property damage resulting directly from a design or manufacturing defect; or
- A case initiated by the Attorney General, meant to enforce the National Firearms Act or the Gun Control Act.
While that’s a difficult bar to clear, it’s not impossible. Reaching out to an experienced personal injury firm, like the Law Offices of Tim Misny, is the best way to evaluate your chances of success.
Gun violence is devastating, and mass shootings remain an ever-growing problem. Survivors and family members may have limited legal options against gun manufacturers, but it’s always a good idea to explore your next steps. Call the Law Offices of Tim Misny today for assistance.
Discuss your case with an Ohio personal injury lawyer today
Did your loved one die due to gun violence? If there’s a legal option available, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (877) 944-4373 so that I can evaluate your case right away. We’ll work to hold the right parties responsible for the appropriate damages.