Assembly Leader Pushing To Make Gun Makers Pay For Deadly Buffalo Shooting
If she can make it happen, gun manufacturers could be held financially responsible for deaths and injuries caused by their weapons in the Buffalo mass shooting. I had a chance to speak with NYS Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes about the mass shooting that took place in Buffalo on Saturday, May 14, 2022. Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, about 200 miles southeast of Buffalo, used what NPR says is a Bushmaster XM-15, an AR-15-style rifle to gun down 10 people and injured 3 others. Police also allegedly found a second rifle and a shotgun in his vehicle.
"Perhaps we'll be able to turn the corner on this horrific situation that we live with in America - when people think that gun rights are more important than people."
Leader Peoples-Stokes is pushing to use legislation to hit gun-makers' bottom lines. The law, signed by former Gov. Cuomo last year holds gun makers financially liable for the damages caused by their weapons. During our interview, Leader Peoples-Stokes said,
"As the governor did say, we had the toughest gun laws in the state of New York. Right after the George Floyd homicide, the state was able to pass legislation that will make manufacturers of these weapons held civilly liable in the cases when people lose their family and their loved ones. And I fully intend to pursue that. I have just had a discussion with the attorney general about it. Attorney Crump is going to be in town today. I will discuss it with him. I will bring him the legislation, and I will hope that we will be able to begin using this so that these manufacturers of war products that they sell in our communities push on our communities and allow people who are haters to have access to they should be held accountable as well. And I think when we get to that point, perhaps we'll be able to turn the corner on this horrific situation that we live with in America. When people think that gun rights are more important than people."
A little less than a year ago, on July 6, 2021, then-Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the S.7196/A.6762-B and S.5000-B/A.6198-B into law. The legislation holds gun manufacturers liable for the death and destruction their products cause. It also closes a loophole that allowed people with outstanding warrants to buy guns. guns.
Crystal Peoples-Stokes plans to use this legislation in the mass shooting in Buffalo to make the gun manufacturer of the weapon Gendron used pay for damages. The law states,
No gun industry member, as that term is defined in the bill, shall create or maintain a condition that endangers safety or health of the public through the sale, manufacturing, importing, or marketing of a "qualified product" as defined in 15 U.S.C. section 7903(4).