Gun manufacturers Sig Sauer and Sturm Ruger issued “recalls” on consecutive days in August. On August 8, Sig Sauer announced a “voluntary upgrade” of its P320 pistol. The Dallas Police Department suspended use of P320s while they investigate whether the gun contains a defect that makes it prone to discharge when dropped. Meanwhile, a Stamford, Connecticut police officer claims that he was injured when his department-issued P320 discharged when it struck the ground.
On August 9, Sturm Ruger issued a “safety bulletin” for its Precision Rifles. The company says some of the guns contain a defect that prevents the firing mechanism from functioning properly.
The gun industry is the only manufacturer of a consumer product that is exempt from federal health and safety regulation. As such, there is no federal agency that can require a gun manufacturer to recall defective guns or ammunition. Gun owners and the rest of the general public must rely entirely on gun manufacturers to take action when they determine that a gun or ammunition contains a dangerous defect.
Very often, gun manufacturers fail to act in a timely manner or to accurately describe the safety hazard. This can discourage owners of defective firearms from taking the steps necessary to remedy the problem. In fact, guns and ammunition that contain safety defects are very common. Reportedly, the National Shooting Sports Foundation acknowledges that 40 percent of all new guns contain some type of defect, a fact that prompted Truth About Guns, a pro-gun blog, to observe: “No other industry could survive with a failure rate like this.”
The gun industry’s lack of health and safety regulation also means that manufacturers cannot be compelled to fix any defects except by lawsuits brought by injured gun owners. Recently, in response to one such lawsuit, Remington agreed to replace millions of triggers in its popular Model 700 hunting rifle. Today, caveat emptor is the watchword for today’s gun buyer.
The VPC has initiated a project to collect defect notices from gun manufacturers in an effort to demonstrate the scope of the problem, help alert the public to specific defective guns and ammunition, and continue to focus attention on the gun industry’s unique lack of health and safety regulation.
Below are recent notices of safety hazards issued by the top gun manufacturers. (The list is by no means exhaustive.)
Armalite safety alerts and recalls
Armalite AR-10, SPR MOD 1, SPR MOD 2, M15, Eagle-15 rifles
Browning safety alerts and recalls
Browning BAR MK3 rifles
Bushmaster safety alerts and recalls (Bushmaster is part of Remington)
Charter Arms safety alerts and recalls
Lady .38 Special Revolvers
FN safety alerts and recalls
FN SCAR 17S Rifles
Galil ACE pistols
Knight safety alerts and recalls
Knight Revolution muzzleloading rifles
Remington safety alerts and recalls
Remington model 887 Shotgun
Remington model 700 Rifle
Remington model Rimfire 22 Thunderbolt TB-22A Rifle
Remington Law Enforcement Reduced Recoill 8 Pellet 00 Buckshot
Remington 270 Win. 150 Grain Soft Point Ammunition
Remington .223 Remington 62 Gr Hollow Point (Match) Ammunition
Remington 22 Hornet 45 Grain PSP ammunition
Remington 17 HMR ammunition and Model 597 HMR
Remington Model 710 bolt-action rifles
Remington 38 Special +P Consumer Notice
Remington R51 Pistol
Savage Arms safety alerts and recalls
Savage B.MAG Rifles
Smith & Wesson safety alerts and recalls
Model 22A pistols
i-Bolt rifle (November 2008)
i-Bolt rifle (January 2008)
Performance Center Model 460 Revolvers
Performance Center Model 329 Revolvers