New York State Senate on Wednesday voted to pass S.1048-A, legislation, sponsored by Brooklyn Democratic Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie, aimed at the gun industry’s immunity from civil lawsuits stemming from the dangers posed by its products.
“Over the past year, neighborhoods across New York have been struggling with a sharp rise in gun violence,” said Myrie, who represents the 20th Senate District in Central Brooklyn. “Communities of color, from Brookhaven to Buffalo and every place in between, are besieged by an influx of guns from other states, sold and manufactured by companies with little interest in how their products are used or misused.
“Since 2005, the courthouse doors have been closed to anyone seeking to protect their rights against these irresponsible businesses,” he added. “It’s past time to change that. Enough is enough.”
Myrie said the ability to sue reckless corporations for damages doesn’t destroy those companies.
“It creates an incentive for better, safer practices in the marketplace,” he said. “We’ve used our laws to protect New Yorkers from harmful chemicals, addictive pharmaceuticals and other products. There is simply no excuse for protecting the worst actors in the gun industry while leaving our communities exposed, vulnerable and without recourse.”
Myrie said he was “proud” that his Senate colleagues passed the “first-in-the-nation bill to finally restore some balance between a multi-billion-dollar gun industry and the New Yorkers terrorized, injured and killed by its products.
“I am grateful to the many partners and advocates, locally and across the nation, who have helped get us to this point, and I urge the Assembly to join us in protecting our communities by advancing our bill this session,” he said.