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Post date: June 19 2000

Statement By Attorney General Spitzer On New York City Gun Lawsuit

I applaud the Mayor for joining the effort to make the gun industry more responsible as we work to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals.

New York City's is a important voice to add to the dozens of cities which have already sued gun manufacturers. That said however, I think it's a mistake for the City to include Smith and Wesson in its lawsuit.

Smith and Wesson has been the one responsible member of the industry, willing to make reasonable changes in the way it does business, including commitments to manufacture all of its guns with trigger locks and to closely monitor the wholesalers and dealers that it does business with.

Our negotiations with the rest of the gun industry came to an end on April 26 when seven gun manufacturers announced that they were suing myself, Connecticut A.G. Richard Blumenthal, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of over a dozen other municipalities.

Since that time, we have been finalizing New York State's lawsuit against the rest of the industry. In the very near future, I believe New York will become the first state in the nation to sue the industry

Whether through negotiations or the courts, our goal is not in any way to harm those law abiding citizens who own guns. We simply want the gun industry to make reasonable changes to their products and marketing practices which will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and help prevent accidental shootings.

These reasonable changes will help make our homes, our schools, our workplace, and places of worship safer from the epidemic of gun violence that we are experiencing every day.