Firearms Makers Not Responsible For Gun Violence, Americans Say

An April ICR/Associated Press question began this way: "As you may know, several cities have filed lawsuits against gun manufacturers to recover money spent by hospitals and police departments dealing with gun violence." Seventy percent of those asked said gun manufacturers should not be held responsible for these costs; 21 percent said they should.

In May, Gallup found that 61 percent of Americans opposed allowing local governments to sue gun manufacturers "in order to recover the costs incurred because of gun violence in their areas." Thirty-six percent favored the idea. Fifty percent of Democrats, 72 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of independents were opposed.

A May poll by Zogby International reinforces this picture. "Some cities have filed lawsuits against gun manufacturers. They say that gun manufacturers have not done enough to prevent violence and crime that involve the use of guns in their cities. Do you believe cities should be allowed to sue gun manufacturers?" Twenty-four percent said they should, 71 percent said no. Majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents were opposed.

Twenty-four percent said individuals should be allowed to sue gun manufacturers when family members are harmed from the illegal use of guns; 72 percent said they should not be permitted to do so. Once again majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents said they should not.

In June, 53 percent of Californians told Los Angeles Times interviewers they opposed holding gun manufacturers liable for gun-related violence and making them pay for gun-related costs. Thirty-nine percent favored the idea.

In Gallup's survey and in the Los Angeles Times' California poll, people supported the idea of holding parents responsible. Gallup's June 11 to 13 poll showed that 57 percent favored holding parents legally responsible if their children commit crimes with a parent's gun (39 percent were opposed). A 53 percent majority of Californians favored holding parents criminally responsible when their children use a gun to commit a crime. Thirty-percent disagreed.

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