UPDATE: City officially files lawsuit against gun companies
UPDATE: The City of Rochester announced on Tuesday that it has officially filed the lawsuit to sue gun manufacturers. It was filed on December 21 with the Monroe County Clerk’s Office.
The lawsuit accuses gun companies of being partially responsible for illegal guns in Rochester that have brought relentless violence. The city is suing manufacturers including Smith and Wesson, Glock, and Bushmaster.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The City of Rochester is taking aim at gun manufacturers. It plans to sue them over the relentless gun violence on our streets. Tuesday afternoon Mayor Malik Evans announced this new public safety initiative against firearm companies.
Evans says gun violence is now the leading cause of death for young children, and teenagers in our city. Standing with members of his leadership team, Evans says it’s time to go after gun manufacturers, and hold them accountable for the proliferation of guns on our streets. The city is about to file its litigation.
“Every gun that was used in a homicide last year was an illegal firearm. People have access to guns like candy, like water of the Genesee, and that’s what we’re seeking to put a stop to,” said Evans.
New York City Attorney Salvatore Badala is handling the lawsuit. News10NBC asked him if this sort of litigation has worked for other cities that sued gun manufactures.
“Well New York City has filed against ghost gun defendants. That case is still ongoing right now, and the Attorney General has also sued, just against ghost gun defendants. This lawsuit will be more expansive as we’ll be going against firearm manufacturers, and distributors, as well as ghost gun defendants,” said Badala.
This year alone, Rochester Police say they have recovered over 700 illegal guns. Badala explains why the lawsuit is going after the manufacturers.
“These defendants have not put in the right controls to prevent the flow of guns into the community, and then holding them responsible, and setting up an abatement fund where we can have intervention, education for example,” said Badala.
Local attorney Sheldon Boyce thinks this lawsuit is a bad idea.
“You may as well sue automobile manufacturers for drunk driving. The guns in fact have all been illegally sold. I think my understanding is that last year all the homicides were committed with guns that have been illegally possessed. They’re not people that have a pistol permit, many buy the guns legally. So I think it’s just ridiculous to blame the manufactures,” said Boyce.
News10NBC reached out to the City to find out how much this lawsuit will cost taxpayers. We have yet to hear back from city leaders.