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In New York, Gun Manufacturers Can Be Sued for Shootings Carried Out by Anyone

Nueva York permitirá demandar a fabricantes de armas por tiroteos ejecutados por cualquier persona

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More than a dozen gun companies lost a defense Wednesday that gave them legal immunity in New York against shooting victims and can be sued in gun violence-related cases, a federal judge ruled.

The law allows New York state, its local governments, and citizens to sue gun sellers, manufacturers, distributors, and promoters for causing a “public nuisance,” a technical concept interpreted as creating conditions of “danger to public health and safety,” even if the companies have no connection to the use of the guns by the purchasers.

Manufacturers such as Glock, Beretta, and Smith & Wesson, as well as the group National Shooting Sports Foundation, had asked to stop and declare unconstitutional this state law that went into effect in 2021, which aims to hold them responsible for “harm to society.”

The decision of Judge Mae D’Agostino, of a court in Albany — the capital of New York — comes a day after the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde (Texas), where an 18-year-old killed 19 children and two teachers, and which happens to be one of the deadliest in the country.

The manufacturers and their employers had been trying for months to paralyze the gun control legislation —approved by former Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo— with a motion that was dismissed today by the judge, who agreed with the authorities and ordered the case closed, according to the document reviewed by EFE news agency.

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Attorney General Letitia James reacted via Twitter to the decision, calling it a great victory.

The law that is finally upheld also obliges gun manufacturers to establish and use reasonable controls and processes to prevent their qualified products from being illegally appropriated, used, promoted, or sold.

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