Guns are the only consumer product manufactured in the United States that are not subject to federal health and safety regulation. This unique exemption has allowed the firearms industry to innovate for lethality rather than safety. (And in the case of defective firearms, unlike other products no federal mechanism exists to force a recall or design change.)
Overall, the impact of this lethal design, manufacture, and marketing shift can be measured in the tens of thousands of Americans who die from guns each year in the United States (more than 38,000 in 2016): from mass shootings involving semiautomatic firearms with high-capacity ammunition magazines to homicides and suicides facilitated by increased firepower. At the same time, defective firearms remain on the market while minor design changes that could be required under a regulatory mechanism are subject to the whims of manufacturers.
Policy goals of the Campaign for Gun Industry Accountability are:
- Establishment of federal health and safety regulation of the firearms industry to hold the gun industry and its products to the same health and safety standards as all other consumer products sold in the United States.
- Reestablish the rights of the victims of firearms violence to seek justice through the courts in civil liability cases.
To this end, the Campaign for Gun Industry Accountability will:
- Present new and ongoing research on the many ways the industry exploits its unique lack of health and safety regulation;
- Outline effective solutions to hold firearms to the same health and safety standards as all other consumer products; and,
- Offer tools for action that can be used by advocates, policymakers, organizations, and social influencers to hold the industry accountable and effect change.
The gun industry is making a killing. And we’re the ones who are dying. Americans deserve to live free from the fear of gun violence. We deserve effective federal, state, and local policies that save lives. We deserve, and demand, gun industry accountability.