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Items filtered by date: Monday, 19 September 2016

Trouble is brewing in
New England for gun manufacturers.
The Massachusetts attorney
general has launched an
innovative investigation of major
firearm makers based on her
state’s expansive consumerprotection
law.
The probe targets at
least two companies—Glock
Inc. and Remington Outdoor
Co.—and possibly others. The
investigation came to light because
of lawsuits the gun companies
recently filed seeking to
block or narrow the Massachusetts
safety investigation, calling
it overly intrusive. The
defensive litigation stated that
Attorney General Maura Healey
is demanding that Glock and
Remington surrender a wide
range of internal documents, including
safety-related complaints
from customers.
Glock is Austria-based
and controlled by its founder,
87-year-old Gaston Glock. Beginning
in the mid-1980s, the
company’s pistols revolutionized
the handgun market with
their large ammunition capacity
and lightweight, mostly plastic
frame. Remington, 200 years
old and based in Madison, N.C.,
is part of Freedom Group,
which, in turn, is owned by a
New York private equity firm by
the name of Cerberus Capital
Management.
Since the Glock was introduced
in America 30 years
ago, critics have said its design
makes it more likely than other
handguns to fire accidentally.
For example, the Austrian
gun fires with relatively little
pressure from the shooter’s
index finger, and it has an unconventional
safety mechanism
built into its trigger, which some
detractors say is ineffective.
The company has responded
that with proper training and
careful technique, users will
avoid accidental discharges.
Remington has had
safety issues of its own. The
company recently recalled two
lines of rifles manufactured from
2006 through early 2014 because
of accidental discharges.
The recall notice stated to owners
that “any unintended discharge
has the potential for
causing injury or death. Immediately
stop using your rifle until
Remington can inspect it to determine
if the XMP trigger has
excess bonding agent used in
the assembly process, which
could cause an unintentional
discharge.”
The Boston Globe, which
broke this story on Sept. 1, reported
that, in her court filing responding
to Glock’s suit, Healey
argued that the manufacturer’s
pistols are “prone to accidental
discharge” and that the company
may have been warned
about the problem by customers
but still failed to act.
“Responding to Glock’s
lawsuit,” the Globe added,
Healey referred to “news stories
about a sheriff's deputy accidentally
firing a Glock pistol in
San Francisco’s Hall of Justice,
a Los Angeles police officer
who was paralyzed from the
waist down after his 3-year-old
son accidentally fired his Glock
pistol, and a Massachusetts
man who was dancing at a July
4th party when his Glock handgun
fired while it was in his
pocket.”
Guns, it's worth noting,
are one of the only products not
regulated by the federal Consumer
Product Safety Commission.
Paul Barrett
Bloomberg
Businessweek

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