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Congresswoman Debbie Dingell

Representing the 12th District of Michigan

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Dingell Introduces Legislation to Address Safety Defects in Firearms

April 18, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today introduced the Defective Firearms Protection Act, legislation that allows the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to address safety defects in firearms like they would for any other consumer product by potentially issuing safety warnings and issuing recalls if necessary. Today firearms are excluded from the definition of a consumer product, which prohibits the CPSC from addressing safety issues in firearms.

“Currently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission can order the recall thousands of defective products, from bicycles to high chairs to lightbulbs,” said Dingell. “However, if a firearm is found to be defective or pose a safety risk, nothing can be done to address it. As a result, faulty guns remain on the market that can be fired with the safety still engaged and without anyone pulling the trigger. This legislation will help ensure that defective and unsafe guns are addressed immediately so we can prevent accidents that can turn deadly.”

In 2016, a 28-year-old Georgia man named Jarred Brown was killed when the gun he was carrying fired in its holster, sending a bullet through his femoral artery. Following his death, Jarred’s family learned that the gun was part of a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer which asserted that because of design and manufacturing defects, the gun could fire unintentionally when bumped, dropped or when the safety is on. Despite offering to repair or replace nine different handguns following the settlement, the company denied any negligence and wrongdoing.

Dingell’s legislation aims to help prevent such accidents by removing barriers in current law that prevent the CPSC from addressing defective pistols, revolvers or firearms.