Crime victims fight bill to help gun makers

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Crime victims and their survivors are lobbying against a bill in Congress that the National Rifle Association calls its top legislative priority this year. The measure would give gun manufacturers immunity from most lawsuits. It has passed the House and will be considered soon in the Senate. One of those affected is Denise Johnson, whose husband Conrad, a bus driver in Montgomery County, Md., was shot and killed last fall, apparently by one of the snipers who plagued the Washington, D.C., area. Mrs. Johnson has filed a suit against the gun shop, Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply in Tacoma, Wash., that supplied the gun, a Bushmaster rifle, to one of two men charged. She has also sued the rifle’s manufacturer. The New York Times reports that Johnson is turning herself into a lobbyist to oppose the bill. “I’m appalled and outraged that Congress can take away my rights as an American to have my day in court,” she says. The bill would make gun dealers and gunmakers the only industry in the nation exempt from lawsuits, the Times says. The National Shooting Sports Foundation said the legislation was needed to “prevent frivolous, politically motivated lawsuits.” Gun makerss have been sued by many govenrmental agencies as well as by the N.A.A.C.P.


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