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San Diego County to vote on suing gun manufacturers over gun violence

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jun 13, 2022

SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV) The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will vote on a proposal Tuesday that would give the county the option of suing gun manufacturers over gun violence.

County Chair Nathan Fletcher and Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer are pushing the plan which they announced Monday morning at the county administration building.

They were joined by gun control advocates and two high school students.

Tahlia Fisch said she was in first grade when she experienced her first school lockdown.

"Today I cannot help but wonder if the last thing I see in life is the barrel of a gun in the hands of someone who should never have had that gun in the first place," the Grauer School student said during a news conference

The 16-year-old says the possibility of a shooting is on her mind every time she steps foot in a classroom.

"It is about where I can hide and what seat I will be safest in."

Tahlia says that fear follows her everywhere.

"I’m not old enough to vote, but I am old enough to know that I don’t feel safe going to school. I don’t feel safe entering malls. I don’t feel safe shopping in the grocery store," said Tahlia.

Chair Fletcher and Supervisor Lawson-Remer said they want the county to take every action to help prevent gun violence.

"This is about taking our fight for gun safety from the state house to the court house using the law to pursue civil liability, protect citizens, protect consumers, and demand justice," said Lawson-Remer.

They say they want the county to have the ability to proactively sue gun manufacturers for their role in deadly shootings.

"We are not naive to think that one action a board of supervisors can take will remove all danger of gun violence from our society but we do believe we have an obligation to do everything we can to protect our communities," said Chair Fletcher.

If the board approves the policy, the county's legal counsel would work with law enforcement, receive copies of weapons seizures and then bring recommendations to the board regarding possible litigation.

"Holding gun manufacturers responsible for criminals misusing or using firearms illegally is absolutely ludicrous," said Michael Schwartz.

Schwartz is the executive director for the San Diego County Gun Owners PAC. He says the proposal is more about politics than public safety.

"Since they can’t ban guns, they’re trying to bully or bankrupt manufacturers so they are no longer in the business of selling firearms to civilians," said Schwartz.

The supervisors say right now there isn't a specific lawsuit they want the county to join. The board will vote on the proposal and talk public comment Tuesday morning.