Archives of Rudolph W. Giuliani
Mayor Giuliani at Ceremony

New York City Sues Gun Industry
By Mayor Rudy Giuliani

On June 20th, I was pleased to announce that the City of New York filed a lawsuit against two dozen major gun manufacturers and distributors. This is an industry which profits from the suffering of innocent people. The lawsuit is intended to end the free pass that the gun industry has enjoyed for a very long time, which has resulted in too many avoidable deaths. The suit alleges a number of illegal practices on the part of the gun manufacturers, including:

  • Deliberately manufacturing many more firearms than can be bought for legitimate purposes such as hunting and law enforcement, and knowingly targeting these excess guns to criminals, youths and other persons unqualified to buy firearms;
  • Deliberately undermining New York City's gun control laws by flooding other markets which have less stringent gun laws with firearms that the manufacturers know are destined to be illegally resold in New York City;
  • Ignoring the illegal practices of gun distributors, many of whom openly engage in the above practices;
  • Refusing to manufacture safer guns, with features such as trigger locks and "personalization" measures that allow only authorized persons to fire the weapon.

More than 30,000 Americans each year - including 4,200 children - die because of gun violence. In addition, the city has found evidence of advertisements by gun manufacturers that claim their guns don't show fingerprints. This feature serves no purpose unless the user is intending to use the weapon for illegal purposes.

It is our hope that this suit will result in substantial financial awards to the City for the many ways in which illegal practices and illegal guns harm New Yorkers; including the $17 million dollars each year that are spent by the City's Health and Hospitals Corporation treating gun-shot wounds.

Over the past six years, New York City has reduced crime and murder more than any City in the nation. Our success has been built, in large part, on the tireless efforts of the Police Department to remove guns from our streets. But 95% of the guns that our police seize come from outside the City of New York. Their job of keeping New York safe is made considerably more difficult because of less restrictive guns laws in other parts of the nation and because of the illegal and immoral practices of the gun industry. This lawsuit is an aggressive step towards restoring accountability to an industry that profits from the suffering of others.

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