Gun dealers’ liability for crimes

Despite the enactment of the federal pre-emption bill, some politicians, like New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, are still pushing the idea:

Gun dealers could be held liable if they sell weapons that are later used to commit a crime under an Assembly proposal that’s under fire by gun-rights proponents.

The measure’s chances for passage are considered remote, though. (Heather Yakin and John Milgrim, “Gun dealers balk at proposal to hold them liable”, Middletown, N.Y. Times Herald-Record, Dec. 20).

3 Comments

  • Given that a very conservative federal court of appeals, not a state court, held that there can be aiding and abetting liability for selling a book on how to use a gun to commit a murder, I am hard pressed to see your point.

    If I walk into a gun store asking to buy a firearm so that I can rob a bank, who has problems with liability? No one, to my knowledge.

    What difference does it make that the knowledge of my plan is circumstantial, as long as the gun dealer has a pretty good reason to know what I am about?

  • Why not sue the teacher who taught the crook how to read the book that taught him how to use a gun?

  • Walter wonders, Why not sue the teacher who taught the crook how to read the book that taught him how to use a gun?

    Walter, its really pretty simple, legally and morally. The teacher doesn’t know/have reason to know what the reader will do with the skill. Morally, it comes straight from the Bible–having a duty to prevent injury to our fellow humans