ILION, N.Y. -- The NYS Senate passed a bill that some fear will drive gun makers, like Remington Arms, in Ilion, out of New York State. Bill S1048A opens gun makers, distributors, and others involved in the process, to potential liability if the firearm is harmfully misused. The bill passed Wednesday by a vote of 43-20.
The bill, in part, reads: "the legislature further finds that given the ease at which legal firearms flow into the illegal market, and given the specific harm illegal firearm violence causes certain New Yorkers, those responsible for the illegal or unreasonable sale, manufacture, distribution, importing or marketing of firearms may be held liable for the public nuisance caused by such activities."
The Assembly has its own companion bill that is in committee right now. There is no word at this point if the Assembly will vote on it before the end of this session which is June 10.
"Simply take out gun manufacturing and put in any other manufacturing entity you want and this is a slippery slope I think we're on. So that's number one. It does come down to the personal responsibility of the individual to use this product correctly," says Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-51, who represents the district in which Remington Arms sits. "If something I'm producing is going to be under assault or you're going to hold me responsible for a product I make that somebody would choke on, I'm just using that as an analogy, I'm gonna go to where I'm not gonna be persecuted."
Asked for their input, Remington Arms provided a formal letter of opposition to the bill from NSSF- the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The statements says, in part: If enacted, businesses in the firearm industry will abandon the New York market to avoid a tidal wave of vexatious "regulation through litigation" the bill is intended to bring about. New York residents will no longer be able to exercise their Second Amendment right to purchase firearms. The bill will undermine and diminish, if not violate, the Second Amendment rights of New York resident.
The Senate is expected to pass the bill Wednesday. The Assembly version is in committee; it's not known if they will vote on it before the end of session, June 10.