You’d think that the federal government would have stricter safety standards for firearms than just about any other product on the market. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, there are no federal design safety standards for guns made in the U.S. State regulations vary significantly, and Montana is not one of the few states with strict safety standards.
Too many firearms on the market don’t have even basic safety features and haven’t undergone necessary testing (like drop tests). This often results in unintended shootings, particularly by children and young adults.
The Remington case, as many of our readers know, involved a design flaw that caused its 700 bolt-action rifles to discharge without someone pulling the trigger. This resulted in at least two dozen deaths and many more injuries. Only after the company faced multiple lawsuits did it redesign the trigger.
California law requires two design safety features that can prevent many deadly firearm accidents. One is a magazine disconnect mechanism that prevents discharges when a magazine isn’t attached to the weapon. The other is a chamber load indicator that tells a user if any bullets are still in the chamber after the magazine is removed. Unfortunately, guns can be legally sold in most states without these basic safety features.
So-called “junk guns” are particularly dangerous. They’re also sometimes called “Saturday Night Specials.” Most of them were made in the 1980s and 1990s. As we noted, however, these “junk guns” aren’t the only ones that aren’t as safe as they should be. That’s why it’s essential to do some research into the type of gun you’re buying before you purchase it.
Unfortunately, the victims of these unsafe guns often aren’t the buyers. They’re innocent bystanders (too often children) who are nearby when a gun discharges. If you or a loved one is the victim of a defective firearm, it’s wise to find out what your legal options are.