Buffalo Sues Gun Makers Over Public Health

December 21, 2022

The city of Buffalo, New York on Tuesday filed a suit against more than 30 firearms manufacturers, including Glock, Smith & Wesson, Remington and Bushmaster, seeking to hold them liable for contributing to a condition that “endangers the safety and health of the public” in recent years.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the Erie County branch of New York’s Supreme Court, also names what the lawsuit calls “ghost gun companies,” including Arm or Ally and Polymer80, as providing, along with the large manufacturers, “thousands of firearms recovered in crimes committed in the City of Buffalo and New York State.” 

The suit was announced by Mayor Byron Brown, and it comes seven months after 10 people were killed and three wounded during a racially motivated mass shooting at a grocery store in a predominantly African American neighborhood in Buffalo.

The gunman, who is white, pleaded guilty in November to one count of domestic terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of first degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and one weapons possession charge.

Buffalo city leaders concede that gun violence is getting worse there, despite efforts by the Buffalo Police Department to curb gun violence.

Gun violence has surged in the city since 2020, when 355 people were killed or injured in shootings.

City officials said the lawsuit’s aim was “not to prevent legal gun ownership,” but to stop the “flood” into Buffalo of “illegally possessed guns.”

There was no immediate response to the lawsuit from the gun manufacturers and retailers named as defendants.

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