Senate Committee Passes Liability-For-Guns Bill, Allowing Manufacturers And Sellers Of Assault-Style Weapons To Be Sued

03/04/2013 09:31 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2013
  • Andrea Rael Associate Denver Editor, The Huffington Post

A Senate committee passed a bill late Monday night to make sellers and manufacturers of assault-style weapons liable for crimes committed with the guns they produce and sell.

Senate Bill 196 (Scroll to the bottom to read the bill in full) passed 3-2 on a party-line vote. Under the bill, manufacturers and sellers of semi-automatic rifles could be sued for acts committed with guns if they "negligently entrusted" the weapon to someone they "reasonably should have known might use the weapon to cause bodily injury."

"This bill does not take a gun from anybody," said Senate President John Morse, D-Colorado Springs, a sponsor of the bill, Monday night. "What this bill is about is that gun sellers and gun manufacturers have the same liability that everyone in this room has today."

Though the bill exempts handguns, shotguns and bolt-action rifles, opponents pointed out that it would classify others as assault weapons.

"My concern is that under this, the only people that will have semiautomatic guns are criminals," said Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction.

The bill reads in part:

The right to manufacture, sell, or own assault weapons must carry with it some of the responsibility for damage, injury, and death that results from the discharge of that weapon.

Next the bill heads to the full Senate.

A Look At Colorado's Gun Control Bills

Senate Bill 195: Makes concealed-carry permit holders complete training class in person, rather than online.
Senate Bill 196: Makes manufacturers, owners civilly liable for damages if their weapon is used in crime.
Senate Bill 197: Prevents persons who have committed domestic violence from possessing firearms.
House Bill 1224: Bans high-capacity magazines limiting them to 15 rounds per magazine.
House Bill 1226: Bans concealed-carry permit holders from possessing a firearm on college campuses.
House Bill 1228: Requires gun buyers to pay for costs of background check.
House Bill 1229: Requires background checks on all gun transfers.

Pivotal Moments In The Federal Gun Control Debate