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CA Legislator with Concealed Carry Permit Seeks to Destroy Gun Industry

California State Senator Don Perata seeks to
overturn statute barring gun maker liability -- My Take

by California Attorney, Robert B. Beauchamp
rbb@beauchampfirm.com

August 18, 2001

State Senator Don Perata has introduced legislation seeking to strip gun manufacturers of the so-called "special exemption" they allegedly enjoy in fending off litigation involving their products.

Mr. Perata plans to amend a pending bill (SB682) to effect a repeal of California Civil Code Section 1714.4 on which the California Supreme Court recently relied, in part, to bar a lawsuit by the families of victims of gun violence against a gun manufacturer. As most of us know by now, some years ago a psychopathic killer used the manufacturer's gun to murder several people in a San Francisco law office before himself committing suicide. The Lawyers for the families of the victims of this horrendous crime argued before the Supreme Court that the manufacturer of the weapon in question should be liable to the victims' families because the weapon was advertised to be particularly reliable, to be resistant to corrosion (the lawyers argued that the gun was advertised as resistant to fingerprints but that appears nowhere in the advertising) and have a high rate of fire. Oh, and by the way, there was no evidence that the psycho who committed the crime ever saw the advertising or acquired the weapon because of these alleged features.

Mr. Perata's goal is to repeal a statute holding that no firearm or ammunition is "defective in design" simply because it is used by a criminal to do harm.

Does the fact that the very statue in question states that it was intended solely to clarify existing law demonstrate Mr. Perata's dishonesty (apparently no one uses the word "lie" anymore, too judgmental) in asserting that firearms are "the only product" that enjoys the alleged "exemption"? Perhaps. But Mr. Perata, the master of gun-control demagoguery will not be dissuaded by logic, reason or facts. Why not? Because like most politicians, he is also the master of hypocrisy. Along with celebrities like Robert Blake, Mr. Perata is the holder of one of those rare California concealed weapons permits that, in most counties, are issued solely to celebrities, politicians, donors and friends of sheriffs and chiefs of police to allow these Brahmans to protect themselves from the unwashed masses - that's you and me. Like most politicians, Mr. Perata is unwilling to live the life he would impose on the peons who elected him.

If, as Mr. Perata would have us believe, gun manufacturers are the "only" beneficiaries of this so-called exemption, I wonder why we have not seen lawsuits by those victimized by "killer cars" advertised to do "0-60 in 5.5 seconds flat," "corner like cats" and leave those slow, safe cars in the dust. Why haven't we seen lawsuits by victims of Ginzu knives that slice and dice like there's no tomorrow and, by the way, bear the same "fingerprint resistant" handles that were on the gun in question. What about those ninja motorcycles marketed to those daredevil kids weaving in and out of traffic while I sit on the 405. Hey, and while were at it, what about those skateboard, roller blade and bicycle ads that demonstrate fantastic feats of aerobatics, showing apparently average children pirouetting through the sky with no fear of the mayhem that awaits the average user who might attempt such stunts.

Alas, like all liberals, Mr. Perata would happily trade all of our individual liberties (not his own, of course) for complete safety in all things. Mr. Perata seems actually to believe that he can eliminate future harm of the kind that deranged individuals have inflicted upon others since time immemorial with just one more little infringement on individual liberty.

Well, Mr. Perata, go ahead and give up your concealed weapons permit and show us all the way to peace in our time. (The author confirmed by telephone on August 17, 2001, through Mr. Perata's office in Sacramento that he continues to hold a concealed weapons permit.)

Robert B. Beauchamp
The Beauchamp Firm, a law corporation
1301 Dove Street Suite 950
Newport Beach, California 92660
Telephone: 949-660-0010

 

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