Designed to keep people safe, national recalls extend to everything from toasters and blenders to cars and medical devices. There is one industry that remains untouched, however, despite having caused thousands of deaths and even more injuries. Interestingly enough, this very same industry is solely dedicated to the creation and distribution of lethal weapons.
National Recall Double Standard
Vitamin makers have 15 days to report a hospitalization or death linked to one of their products. Every other one of the 15,000 products governed by the Consumer Protection Safety Commission has just 24 hours to notify officials that one of their products could pose a substantial risk of injury. Yet gun manufacturers are under no obligation to report defects, injuries, hospitalizations, or other incidents—not to consumers, and certainly not to the government.
Because of this lack of accountability, there are scores of potentially defective firearms in the hands of consumers. Of course, no one knows for certain since they are not obligated to report such incidents. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there were 215,422 non-fatal unintentional gun injuries between 2001 and 2013, and another 8,383 deaths.
The Violence Policy Center, an organization that advocated for stronger gun regulations, culled more than 40 safety alerts and recall notices in mid-December alone, including a Winchester Repeating Arms shotgun that could fire when its action is being closed, a Ruger pistol that could fire while the safety is engaged, and a line of Smith & Wesson pistols that could fire if accidentally dropped. But at least those manufacturers did, in fact, recall their guns.
Potentially Millions of Guns Go Unrecalled
After a chain of quietly resolved lawsuits, Remington has finally issued a recall for more than 7 million of their firearms. Yet the manufacturer continues to claim there is nothing actually wrong with their guns, or the design of the triggers that have allegedly caused several guns to misfire.
Taurus, another gun manufacturer, is in the midst of a major suit as well. Dozens have been injured, and an 11-year-old boy was killed by one of their guns. They, too, claim they are not at fault. However, one woman, who suffered substantial injuries after dropping her firearm and then settled out of court, claims to have warned the company to do a recall long before the injuries started piling up.
Like Taurus and Remington, most firearm lawsuits are quickly and quietly settled. Some companies go so far as to place confidentiality agreements on those settlements, and do everything in their power to have court documents sealed away from the public eye. It is almost as if the cases never happened—only they did. Someone lost a life, a limb, a child, a father, a provider, a partner, a way of life.
Know Your Risks. Know Your Rights.
Even in the absence of gun safety regulations, consumers have rights. They do not have to accept the blame for negligence or defective products—nor should they. Instead, they can choose to exercise their buying power, their freedom of speech, and their right to pursue compensation. The skilled DuPage County product liability attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC can help by providing dedicated and aggressive legal representation. Learn more by calling 630-932-9100 today.
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