Democratic lawmakers in New York state are aiming to propose legislation that would make it possible to file lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
Sen. Zellnor Myrie, a Democrat who represents an area in New York City, said he is sponsoring legislation to allow New York residents to sue gun manufacturers who “don’t take steps to prevent their products from being sold and purchased illegally,” WSKG-TV reported.
“I again ask this industry: what are you going to do about your products that are killing our people? You have experienced record profits this past year … and while you make record profits, we experienced record death,” he said.
The proposal comes amid a surge in shootings and homicides in New York City, according to data from the New York City Police Department, although conservatives and police unions have said that the rise in anti-police rhetoric and calls to “defund the police” starting last year amid Black Lives Matter protests have contributed to a spike in crime.
“We have seen New York state move swiftly in other crises, and now we are looking for this state Legislature to do the same in this critical month,” Assemblymember Diana Richardson, a Democrat from Brooklyn, also said about a possible bill being passed on allowing residents to sue gun makers.
But Republicans in the New York Legislature said the bill won’t stop shootings and homicides in New York City.
“The idea that you’re going to hold gun manufacturers responsible … I don’t see how that changes anything,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, according to the WSKG report.
In 2013, the state adopted a significant number of gun control laws, including the SAFE Act, enhanced background checks, a ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds—although the initial law banned magazines holding more than seven rounds—as well as a ban on “assault weapons.”
New York state also requires residents to apply for a pistol license to possess a loaded handgun outside of a home or a business. Concealed carry is only legal with the license, according to pro-Second Amendment group the U.S. Concealed Carry Association, which noted that “local law enforcement has discretion in determining whether or not to issue a concealed weapons license to an applicant,” and an application must show that “proper cause” exists for the issuance of the license.
The Epoch Times has reached out to several gun manufacturing companies and gun-rights group Gun Owners of America for comment.