Updated: July 12, 2021 02:13 PM
Created: July 11, 2021 10:03 PM
GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — A local gun manufacturer is outraged by a new law signed this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The legislation says that gun manufacturers can be sued if their products are misused and cause harm.
While the new law might not pose as much of a threat for larger manufacturers, with illegal gun activity on the rise in Rochester, it could create a serious problem for smaller local operations like Allstar Tactical in Greece. Allstar is a gun retailer that also designs and manufactures weapons like AR-15s.
"For a small manufacturer like us, you know, we carry insurance but, you know, certainly could bankrupt a small business easily," Allstar Tactical Owner Mike Centola said..
Centola believes the new legislation misses the mark when it comes to holding the right people accountable for violent gun crimes.
"I think it's quite ridiculous because the majority of firearms used in crimes are most likely stolen,” Centola said. “It seems like instead of holding the actual criminal liable for what they did, they're now grasping at straws to hold the manufacturer more liable."
He also thinks it could force out-of-state manufacturers to stop selling their products in New York. For local manufacturers, he thinks it could cause prices to rise.
"If I have to go and spend more money to carry a higher liability insurance, it’s gonna trickle down and end up in our prices, and prices may go up," Centola said.
In his announcement this week, Cuomo said: "The only industry in the United States of America immune from lawsuits are the gun manufacturers, but we will not stand for that any longer."
The law, signed by Cuomo on Tuesday, "Allows Public to Hold Gun Manufacturers Liable for Their Products Creating a Public Nuisance,” but manufacturers like Centola believe that just about anything could fall into the “public nuisance” category.
"A public nuisance is ridiculous,” Centola said “Why do we choose firearms to be a public nuisance? You know, a vehicle could be used in vehicle manslaughter, a hammer could be used, knives, you know.. a fork."
A second gun law was also signed by Cuomo this week, which prohibits gun sales to anyone with an outstanding warrant for a felony or a serious offense. This second law reverses what Cuomo calls a “Trump loophole” which allowed people with active warrants to purchase firearms.
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