San Diego County Board of Supervisors

San Diego County to Consider Suing Gun Manufacturers

The bill, which will be considered for a vote on Tuesday, will take a pro-active approach on holding gun manufacturers responsible for gun violence

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In the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, two San Diego County supervisors said on Monday that they will introduce a proposal to seek out policy recommendations that would enable the county to sue gun manufacturers as a means of holding the companies accountable.

San Diego County Board Chair Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Terra Lawson Remer held a news conference Monday to announce their planned actions.

The bill, which will be considered for a vote on Tuesday, will take a pro-active approach on holding gun manufacturers responsible for gun violence.

“We want to look for every tool we could possibly have to save more lives, and looking at the possibility of litigation or lawsuits against the gun manufacturers or industries could be another tool,” Fletcher said.

If supervisors approve the proposal, Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer will develop recommendations — after consulting with the county sheriff and other relevant departments — to cooperate with other law enforcement agencies to receive weapon seizure reports. Robbins-Meyer would later return to the board with options on legal action against gun manufacturers.

Some legal and policy experts say this is another step in an effort by local, state and federal entities to bring action against gun manufacturers for their role in gun violence.

Some legal and policy experts are not sold on how effective the effort will be.

“From a legal standpoint, it's difficult to tell what effect this is going to have," attorney Daniel Eaton told NBC 7. "There are some people who say that the focus ought to be on enforcing existing laws and that new laws aren't going to have any kind of measurable impact. On the other hand, even those who support these kinds of laws will say that you can't really definitively say what impact they will have.”

Students joined the two board of supervisors in their support of the proposal.

“I want people held accountable, I want changes, I want common sense gun laws, I want there to be more control on guns — and who’s even allowed to have a gun in the first place — so I can feel safer in school,” student Tahlia Fisch said.

Gun violence has been at the forefront of public discussions since 10 people were killed in a mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, and 19 students and teachers died in an incident in Uvalde, Texas.

The effort comes months after the board of supervisors voted in favor of an ordinance banning un-serialized ghost guns and requiring safe firearm storage, and, more recently, in the wake of news of a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators reaching a deal on the framework of a bill addressing gun violence.

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