Friday, April 09, 1999

Cleveland sues gun industry, saying safety features lacking

The Associated Press

        CLEVELAND — Cleveland joined several cities that have filed lawsuits against the gun industry Thursday, accusing firearms makers of failing to incorporate safety features that would keep guns from being fired by unauthorized users.

        The suit seeking unspecified dam ages was filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. It names 17 gun manufacturers and three trade associations.

        A representative of one trade association said safety measures such as gun safes and locking systems already are on the market, but it is the consumer's choice whether to buy them.

        The city's lawsuit claims lack of safety features, dangerous designs and inadequate warnings have made guns “unreasonably dangerous” and able to be fired by unauthorized users, including children.

        New Orleans, Chicago, Miami/Dade County and Bridgeport, Conn., are among the other cities that have filed similar lawsuits. Cincinnati city council has directed its lawyers to prepare a lawsuit.

        Jack Adkins, director of operations for the American Shooting Sports Council Inc., an Atlanta-based trade group named as a defendant in the Cleveland suit, said safety measures Cleveland and other cities want in guns are available only in prototypes now. They're not on sale to the general public, he said.


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