If signed into law by the governor, New York would be the first state to clear an avenue for civil litigation against gun industry stakeholders in this way.
It prohibits false marketing and requires gun industry players to take steps to prevent theft and illegal or unreasonable sales of firearms.
The statute explicitly allows the state attorney general and corporate counsel for local municipalities to sue them when those stipulations are violated.
Private citizens could also sue under the new law if they endured damages “as a result of a gun industry member’s acts or omissions,” it says.
The New York bill takes advantage of the federal language which specifically allows for lawsuits against manufacturers or dealers who “knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.”
The bill has not been sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk for his signature yet.
It is unclear if Cuomo plans to sign the bill into law. The governor’s office did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
State lawmakers are taking aim at gun trafficking and illegal firearms purchases as crime continues to spike in New York City.
Myrie said present oversight just isn’t cutting it, and said the law could incentivize the gun industry to enact stronger safeguards against illegal purchases and gun trafficking.
“Litigation is never the first choice, but should be available in cases where oversight falls short,” Myrie told CNN.
“One in 40 Black boys will die from gun violence in his lifetime. Meanwhile, gun industry profits are at record highs. These companies aren’t located in the communities where their products are misused, and they’re currently shielded from any responsibility for those consequences.”