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Gun industry faces a new wave of lawsuits that could reshape how firearms are sold

October 6, 2022

The survivors and families of victims of recent mass shootings in Texas and Illinois are taking on gun companies and stores in dozens of lawsuits, alleging the businesses bear responsibility for the massacres.

Last week, survivors of the July 4 mass shooting at a parade in Highland Park, Illinois, sued gun maker Smith & Wesson Brands, two gun retailers and others for their alleged role in the attack that left seven dead and more than 40 injured. The families of three children who survived the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting earlier this year are pursuing legal action in separate cases, as well.

The gun industry, under federal law, has broad immunity from the fallout of mass shootings. Experts say plaintiffs face an uphill battle. But survivors, victims, family members and gun law advocates see an opportunity to hold manufacturers and dealers liable by calling into question their sales and marketing practices. If successful, these suits may reshape how guns are sold to Americans.

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