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Is an accident discharge always the result of a defective gun?

When the media reports on someone who is injured or killed because of a gun's accidental discharge, it's tragic. In many cases, the victim is a child and the gun owners are immediately thrust into the spotlight as being "irresponsible" for letting a child get a hold of a gun in the first place.

However, accidental discharges, which are the most common cause of accidents involving guns, are not always the fault of the person who owns or is even holding the gun. In many cases, the gun may be defective. According to the Billings Gazette, earlier this year, a class-action lawsuit was filed over the Remington Model 700 Series Bolt Action Rifle. This defective gun would fire without anyone pulling the trigger. The mechanism responsible for this has been used on some 5 million Remington rifles since 1962. Hundreds of people have been killed or injured due to this defective gun.

There are three ways in which a product may be deemed defective.

-- Inadequate warnings or instructions

-- A manufacturing defect occurred

-- A design defect exists

When guns fall into any of these categories, it's easy to see why there could be serious injuries or fatalities that result. While an accidental discharge is not always the result of a defective gun, it can be a cause. That's why it's important to have an attorney review the details of you or your loved one's case. This way, it can be determined if the accident was the result of any of the three ways the gun may be defective. An attorney experienced in product liability cases can provide more information.

Source: FindLaw, "Product Liability and Guns" Sep. 03, 2014

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