COLORADO SPRINGS— Colorado lawmakers advanced a new bill to allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers. Gun violence survivors and victims could sue the dealer who sold the gun.
"It's a ridiculous bill," said Paradise Sales owner Paul Paradis.
Right now, gun manufacturers, sellers, and gun part manufacturers are not liable if their weapon, or parts of weapons were used in a shooting or act of gun violence resulting in injury or death of a victim.
"What I think is unfair is that those that are dealing with uniquely dangerous products like [guns] should not be exempt [from lawsuits]," said a bill prime sponsor Rep. Javier Mabrey.
Paradis said the bill puts the blame for violent gun crimes on sellers like him.
"They're trying to pass the buck from the person that committed whatever crime," said Paradis.
Sponsors of the bill say it aims to ensure gun manufacturers and dealers take extra precautions before selling guns.
As long as sellers are making sure state requirements are met, Rep. Mabrey said "it is highly, highly, highly, highly unlikely that anyone would be able to ever bring a lawsuit against you."
Paradis has been selling guns in Colorado for more than 40 years. He said he can also use his senses when dealing with potential new gun owners.
"If I feel totally uncomfortable with somebody trying to buy a gun, I have no problem stopping the sale," said Paradis.
Sponsors of the bill said they believe partnering with gun manufacturers and dealers is the only way to stop the rising violence in Colorado.
"We need them to be responsible partners in this fight and that's where I'm hoping this legislation takes us," said a bill prime sponsor Rep. Jennifer Parenti.
Paradis said he wants more emphasis on education before owning a gun.
"I've lost a lot of sales by promoting education first before a gun and I don't care, I think that's the right thing [to do]," said Paradis.
Any bill amendments will need to be considered in the state senate. If approved, it will head to the governor's office to become law.
You can view that bill's language here.
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