From Missouri Digital News: https://mdn.org
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
MDN Menu

MDN Home

Journalist's Creed

Print

MDN Help

MDN.ORG Mo. Digital News Missouri Digital News MDN.ORG: Mo. Digital News MDN.ORG: Missouri Digital News
Lobbyist Money Help  

The Missouri senate voted to prohibit handgun lawsuits

February 26, 2003
By: David Bryan
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB 13

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's Senate voted Tuesday to force St. Louis city to drop its lawsuit against hand-gun manufacturers.

On a voice vote, the Senate gave first-round approval to legislation that would prohibit local government from suing dealers or manufacturers of firearms or ammo.

Senate President Pro Tem, Peter Kinder, D-Cape Girardeau, who sponsored the bill and called these lawsuits "frivolous," said that the manufacturers should in no way be held accountable for deaths or shootings.

"The lawsuits should not be clogging our courts in the state of Missouri," Kinder said during the Senate debate.

Opponents of the bill argued that gun manufacturers should be held accountable for some shootings, and this bill would limit an individual's ability to collect damages for these deaths.

"Wouldn't you want the families to be able to sue gun manufacturers who allowed the (Washington D.C.) snipers to acquire those weapons," said Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia.

St. Louis currently is suing 25 gun manufacturers because of their impact on gun violence in their city.

Sen. Pat Dougherty, D-St. Louis, said this bill would prohibit the city of St. Louis from having their "day in court."

Dougherty reacted with emotion when Kinder called the city's lawsuit disgraceful.

"I so happy to hear that it's disgraceful to prevent young people from finding guns that were not properly stored and blowing away one of their siblings or their neighborhood friend."

To Kinder's reply that Dougherty was talking about a dream world, St. Louis city lawmaker continued, "You like to tell a couple of parents whose kids have been dream world to heaven."

The bill faces one formal vote before going to the House.