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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99549 Find in a Library
Title: Shot at Stricter Controls - Strict Liability for Gun Manufacturers
Author(s): R Safarian
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article shows the feasibility of applying strict products liability theories in California to discourage the manufacture of short-barreled handguns ('snubbies'), which are preferred by criminals because they are easily concealed.
Abstract: In Barker v. Lull Engineering Co., a landmark case illustrating the use of strict products liability in California, the court suggested that a manufacturer's liability is not negated merely because a product is inherently dangerous. An issue to be resolved under strict products liability is whether the obvious danger posed by the handgun results from the defective design, and as a preliminary matter, who carries the burden of answering this question. In addition, manufacturers can be compelled to redesign snubbies because the potential for misues in crime is a foreseeable occurrence. To complete a prima facie case, the plaintiff must address the issue of proximate cause. A conclusion can be drawn that the defective design of a snubby is the proximate cause of injury because the defect is a concurrent cause with the criminal act that produces the injury. Unless the defendant can prove that the benefits of a snubby outweigh the risks created by the small size, a defective design can be found, and liability for injuries caused by this defective design will be imposed on the gun manufacturer. A total of 154 footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): California; Civil proceedings; Consumer protection; Gun Control; Handguns; Products liability
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