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    Firearms litigation resources

    (includes (see below) zero-tolerance weapons policies;
    see also product liability, personal responsibility, school violence)

    Overlawyered.com commentary [through mid-June 2003. Items after that date collected here]:

    "Gun lawsuit columns", Apr. 25-27, 2003; "Gun lawsuit preemption moves forward", Apr. 4-6; "Gun-suit thoughts", Mar. 31, 2003; "House bill would cut off municipal gun suits", May 9, 2002. 

    NAACP suits: "Update" (jury votes against liability), Jun. 2, 2003; "Gun lawsuit columns", Apr. 25-27; "Gun-suit thoughts", Mar. 31; "Stalking horse for anti-gun litigators", Mar. 24, 2003; "NAACP's 'ludicrous' anti-gun suit" (David Horowitz in Salon), Aug. 19, 1999; "Not-so-Kool omen for NAACP suit" (racial claims fail in tobacco case), Nov. 1, 1999; "Connecticut, sue thyself" (NAACP official, while state official, subsidized gunmaking), Dec. 2, 1999.  Also see letters to the editor, "NAACP lawsuits take bad aim", Detroit Free Press, Jul. 20, 1999 (& see update Jul. 30, 2003: judge dismisses lawsuit). 

    "More notices for The Rule of Lawyers" (NRA's LaPierre praises book), Mar. 21-23, 2003 (& Apr. 25-27).

    "Manufacturer sued after bullet fails to take down lion", Apr. 25-27, 2003.

    "Florida school shooting: the deep pockets did it" (Grunow), Dec. 13-15, 2002 (& update Feb. 4-5).

    "Spitzer riding high" (New York attorney general), Jun. 17-18, 2002. 

    Municipal cases crash and burn, 2002: "'Gunning for manufacturers through courts'" (Boston drops its case), Apr. 29-30; "Third Circuit nixes Philly gun suits", Jan. 28-29.  2001: "Municipal gun suits on the run" (Camden, Atlanta, Bridgeport's Ganim), Nov. 19-20; "Victory (again) in Connecticut" (Bridgeport), Oct. 3-4 (& Dec. 11-12, 1999); "'New York State's Gun Suit Must Be Dismissed'", Aug. 22-23; "Columnist-fest" (Jacob Sullum), June 22-24; "Victory in Albany" (Miami, New Orleans, etc.), April 27-29.  2000: "Victory in Philadelphia", Dec. 22-25; "Victory in Chicago", Sept. 20; "'City gun suit shot down on appeal'" (Cincinnati), Aug. 16-17 (& Oct. 8, 1999).  1999: "Victory in Florida" (Miami), Dec. 14 (& Nov. 20-21). 

    "'Gunning for manufacturers through courts'" (proposed NYC ordinance), Apr. 29-30, 2002. 

    Commentaries by others, 2002: "Columnist-fest" (Dave Kopel, Jacob Sullum), Mar. 18.  2001: "Municipal gun suits on the run" (Peter Schuck, Kimberley Strassel), Nov. 19-20; "Columnist-fest" (Sullum), June 22-24; "City gun suits: 'extortion parading as law'" (Robert Levy), May 14. 2000: "Tobacco- and gun-suit reading" (Michael Krauss), Aug. 21-22; "Steady aim" (Vince Carroll, Sam Smith), May 12; "Columnist-fest" (Sullum), May 2; "Stuart Taylor, Jr., on Smith & Wesson deal", April 11; "Blatant end-runs around the democratic process" (Robert Reich), Jan. 15-16. 1999: "Weekend reading: evergreens" (Bruce Kobayashi), Oct. 23-24; "Arbitrary confiscation, from Pskov to Pascagoula" (Michael Barone), July 24-25; "Guns, tobacco, and others to come" (Peter Huber), July 20; "'Anti-democratic, wrong, a feel-good solution'" (editorials), July 3. 

    "Under the Christmas tree" (BB guns, toy soldiers), Dec. 21-23, 2001 (& see Feb. 11-12, 2002). 

    "State of prosecution in Iowa" (bullet possession), Jan. 28-29, 2002. 

    "'FTC Taking "Seriously" Request to Probe Firearms Sites'" (unlawful to recommend guns for family security?), Jan. 16-17, 2002. 

    "'North America's most dangerous mammal'" (deer), Nov. 29, 2001. 

    "Gun controllers on the defensive", Nov. 6, 2001. 

    "'Shooting range sued over suicide'", Sept. 27, 2001; "$3 million verdict for selling gun used in suicide", Sept. 17, 2001; "'Suicide-Attempt Survivor Sues'" (department that issued cop his gun), Jan. 24-25, 2001. 

    "The high cost of cultural passivity", Sept. 21-23, 2001; "Self-defense for flight crews", Sept. 13, 2001. 

    "Self-defense: an American tradition" (Bellesiles furor), Sept. 12, 2001. 

    "Navegar not nailed", Aug. 15, 2001; "Victory in California" (Navegar), Aug. 7-8, 2001; "Weekend reading: evergreens" (Bruce Kobayashi), Oct. 23-24, 1999.

    "Victory in Albany" (Hamilton v. Accu-Tek), April 27-29, 2001.

    "Letter to the editor" (activist doctors vs. gun ownership), May 18, 2001. 

    "Non-gun control" (toy guns; bottles and glasses), March 23-25. 

    "$3 million verdict for selling gun used in suicide", Sept. 17, 2001; "Vicarious criminal liability?" (individual who sold gun prosecuted after remote purchaser used it to commit murder), Dec. 8-10, 2000. 

    "Promising areas for suits" (suits against families after firearms injuries), Dec. 7, 2000. 

    "'Gunshot wounds down almost 40 percent'", Oct. 10, 2000. 

    "For Philly, gun lawsuits just the beginning" (city intends to sue other businesses), Oct. 5, 2000. 

    Effects on gunmakers: "Victory in Chicago" (dealers under pressure as liability insurance dries up), Sept. 20, 2000; "One gunmaker's story" (Freedom Arms), June 14-15; "Gun-buying rush", Jan. 4, 2000; "Victory in Florida" (lawyers using cost infliction as tactic), Dec. 14, 1999; "Gun jihad menaces national security" (small arms industry is important defense supplier), Nov. 9; "Skittish Colt" (not abandoning consumer market, says gunmaker), Nov. 18-19; "Proud history to end?" (Colt's retreating from consumer handgun business), Oct. 12; Gunmaker bankruptcies: three, and counting", Sept. 14, 1999. 

    "Senator Lieberman: a sampler" (opposed firearms lawsuits in D.C. in 1992), Aug. 8-9, 2000; "Veeps ATLA could love" (Durkin, D-Ill., sponsor of gun-suit bill), July 7, 2000. 

    "Our most ominous export" (U.S. trial lawyers help launch anti-gunmaker suit in Brazil), July 31, 2000. 

    "'Poll: majority disapprove of tobacco fine'" (survey finds public against gun suits 67 to 28 percent), July 24-25, 2000. 

    "Giuliani's blatant forum-shopping", June 28, 2000; "...bad news out of New York" (city joins gun suits), June 21, 2000. 

    "The Wal-Mart docket" (sued over gun sales), July 7, 2000. 

    Parodies, cartoons: "Animated advocacy" ("smart guns" interactive game, etc.), June 16-18, 2000; "Cartoon that made us laugh" ("....We can't take those off the market!  Dangerous products are a gold mine for the gov't!"), Jan. 21-23; "Power tools: America's children at risk" (parody site taken seriously), Dec. 7, 1999.

    "Rewarded with the bench" (judicial nomination for Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal?), June 12, 2000; "Punished for resistance", March 31-April 2; "Connecticut, sue thyself" (state officials, NAACP), Dec. 2, 1999. 

    Smith & Wesson settlement: "Victory in Albany" (see notes), April 27-29, 2001; "A Smith & Wesson FAQ", May 18-21, 2000; "Not with our lives you don't", May 9; "Columnist-fest" (Jacob Sullum), May 2; "Police resent political gun-buying influence", April 14-16; "Stuart Taylor, Jr., on Smith & Wesson deal", April 11; "Punished for resistance", March 31-April 2; "Another S&W thing", March 27; "Social engineering by lawsuit" (Yale law professor Peter Schuck doubts S&W would have lost at trial), March 27; "Smith & Wesson's 'voluntary' capitulation'", March 21; "Liberty no longer insured by Smith & Wesson", March 20, 2000. 

    "Not my fault, II" (19-year-old sues gunmaker, own father over accidental shooting 14 years earlier), May 17, 2000. 

    "Not with our lives you don't" (gun-suit issue figures in Presidential race; Clinton, trial lawyers endorse gun control event), May 9, 2000. 

    Police line-of-duty: "Not with our lives you don't", May 9, 2000; "Police resent political gun-buying influence", April 14-16; "Cops shoot civilian; city blames maker of victim's gun", April 12, 2000; "Zone of blame" (policeman's widow sues maker of his gun), Oct. 27, 1999. 

    "Barrel pointing backward" (lawsuits and "smart guns"), Feb. 17, 2000; update, March 8

    "Improvements to our gun-litigation page", Feb. 14, 2000; "Gun litigation roundup", Feb. 10-11, 2000. 

    HUD: "Cuomo menaces gun makers: 'death by a thousand cuts", Feb. 2, 2000; "Feds' tobacco hypocrisy: Indian 'smoke shops'", Jan. 25, 2000; "Gun lawsuits: White House, HUD pile on", Dec. 9, 1999. 

    "Fourth Branch"?: "Steady aim", May 12, 2000; "Judge to lawyers in Miami gun suit: you're trying to ban 'em, right?" (anti-democratic quotes from anti-gun side), Nov. 20-21, 1999; "Gun litigation: a helpful brother-in-law" (Hugh Rodham surfaces assisting gun lawyers), Oct. 25, 1999; "Reform stirrings on public contingency fees", Oct. 15; "Big guns" (origins of municipal litigation), Oct. 5-6; "Like calling the Orkin man to talk about bugs" (American Bar Ass'n president compares gun suits to civil rights crusade), August 10; "'A de facto fourth branch of government'" (Wendell Gauthier's view of trial lawyers' role), July 4, 1999. 

    Hypocrisy of municipal plaintiffs: "Do as we say, please" (big cities suing gun makers sell lots of surplus guns themselves), July 14, 1999; "Do as we say (II): gun-suit hypocrisy in Detroit", August 30, 1999; "Gun-suit hypocrisy, Boston style" (city admits it didn't follow own procedures in selling guns), August 25, 1999; "Connecticut, sue thyself" (state officials, NAACP), Dec. 2, 1999. 

    Philanthropies back anti-gun litigation: "Charity dollars support trial lawyers' gun jihad", Sept. 2, 1999; "Correction: the difference one letter makes" (YWCA, not YMCA, supports anti-gun efforts), Nov. 10; "Soros as bully" ("Open Society" philanthropist), Nov. 23, 1999. 

    "Recommended reading" (Lingua Franca on Second Amendment controversy in law schools), Jan. 25, 2000; "'Scholar's shift in thinking angers liberals'" (Larry Tribe says Second Amd't does include individual right), Aug. 30, 1999. 

    "Fertilizer manufacturers not liable for World Trade Center bombing" (theories against them resembled those used against gunmakers), Aug. 23, 1999. 

    "'Settlement bonds': are guns next?" (Wall Street maneuvering to float bonds based on expropriation of gun industry), Aug. 5, 1999. 

    "Censorship via (novel) lawsuit" (lawyers suing gunmakers, Hollywood claim their theories are "traditional" and "time-honored"), Jul. 22, 1999. 

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    Related commentary: "zero-tolerance" weapons policies

    2002: "'No scissors allowed at ribbon-cutting ceremony at Pittsburgh airport'", Sept. 23; "Steak knives, finger 'guns'", May 16; "Goodbye to zero tolerance?", Jan. 25-27. 

    2001: "Under the Christmas tree" (BB guns, toy soldiers), Dec. 21-23; "John Leo on Overlawyered.com", Aug. 15; "Bagpiper prom garb" (skean dubh knife), June 21; "Drawing pictures of weapons" (also U.K. pellet gun case), May 15; "Zero tolerance spiral" (roundup), April 12; "Non-gun control" (second-graders' paper gun), March 23-25; "ABA criticizes zero tolerance" (knife cases), Feb. 21-22; "Pointing chicken finger", Feb. 2-4; "Gun-shaped medallion", Jan. 18. 

    2000: "Tweety bird chain" (also African tribal knives case), Sept. 29-Oct. 1 (& update Oct. 4); "Kopel on zero-tolerance policies", Sept. 25-26; "'NZ kids get 'license' to play with toy guns'", Sept. 8-10; "Ease up on kids" (Utah), Aug. 4-7; "Annals of zero tolerance" (finger guns, inadvertent steak knife in lunch bag), May 22; "Kindergartners' 'bang, you're dead'", April 17; "Don't play James Bond" (fifth grader's plastic toy gun), March 28; "Annals of zero tolerance: scissors, teacher's beer", March 15. 

    1999: "Weekend reading: columnist-fest" (John Leo column), Dec. 11-12; "Scissors, toy-gun cases", Dec. 8; "Annals of zero tolerance: the fateful thumb", Nov. 20-21; "Annals of zero tolerance: more nail clippers cases", Nov. 10; "Annals of zero tolerance: cannon shots banned" (school disallows yearbook photo posed on artillery), Oct. 30-31 (update Nov. 26-28: school relents); "Zero tolerance strikes again" (student suspended after using knife to cut cake), Oct. 23-24.

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    Other resources on gun lawsuits: 

    List (compiled by Prof. Eugene Volokh, UCLA Law School) of law professors skeptical of firearms suits (subcategories: municipal lawsuits, firearms torts generally). 

    "Suing Gun Makers" (Reason magazine "Breaking Issues" series). 

    Walter Olson, "Plaintiff's Lawyers Take Aim at Democracy", Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2000; "Big Guns", Reason, Oct. 1999; "Firing Squad" (federalism and gun suits), Reason, May 1999. 

    National Center for Policy Analysis, "Suing Gun Manufacturers: Hazardous to Our Health". 

    American Lawyer on origins of the municipal firearms litigation, June 1999. 

    American Shooting Sports Coalition, "Gun Rights: Under the Gavel". 


    About.com: "High noon in the courtroom" (J.D. Tuccille). 

    Robert Levy (Cato Institute), "Blackmail of gun makers", National Law Journal, Jan. 30, 2000. 

    Guntruths.com / commentary on "childproof locks" and "smart gun" suits

    Guncite.com links on firearms litigation

    Also see resources on product liability / on personal responsibility

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