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Who is responsible for injuries from guns?

In a worse-case scenario, a shooting can be terrifying and deadly to the victims. A gun that misfires can shoot its handler, or a gun that isn't working correctly could fail to work when it needs to.

Who can be held liable for those injuries? Can the manufacturer of the gun be held responsible for the actions of a person using that weapon?

According to the law, to prove that the gun and manufacturer were responsible, you'll want to be able to show that the product was defective. Otherwise, you'll want to seek a negligence claim against the person responsible for your injuries. For instance, if the product doesn't have adequate warnings or instructions on use, then it could be dangerous and defective due to the lack of information provided. If a person chose to use a gun he or she didn't know how to handle and shoots you, then negligence may be the cause of injury and not the manufacturer's responsibility.

If the product is manufactured or designed in a way in which it's clear that injuries could result, that could make the manufacturer liable for any injuries that result. For instance, if the safety on the gun is too easily sprung or is next to the trigger, making it easy to hit the wrong part, then that could be a defect or design flaw.

Finally, if the product is manufactured with a defect, then it may be a manufacturing defect that results in the weapon being dangerous. For instance, if the safety doesn't work, then that could be a manufacturing flaw.

Source: FindLaw, "Product Liability and Guns," accessed June 06, 2016

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