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Can a product liability suit be based on a defective gun?

There are numerous reasons why Illinois residents may be in possession of a gun. Some people may be preparing for the upcoming deer hunting season. Others may have a firearm for protection. However, no matter what the reason, many gun owners respect the fact that these weapons are dangerous and take care to handle them responsibly. With that being said, if a person has an accident with a firearm, and they believe that the firearm was faulty or defective in some way, is there any legal recourse for the damages they suffered?

Of course, it depends on the circumstances of the incident surrounding the injury, but it may be possible in some cases to hold manufacturers, sellers or others responsible for the accident through product liability laws. In general, there are three ways in which any product can be deemed defective. One is if it has insufficient warnings or instructions with regard to risks surrounding the use of the product that are foreseeable. Another is if there is a flaw in the manufacturing of the product. Finally, there could be a defect in the design of the product.

Therefore, if the gun seems to have malfunctioned due to a defect, it may be possible to pursue recovery through a product liability suit. However, when doing so, courts will take into account whether the gun operated in a manner that would be intended or expected. Just because a gun is dangerous doesn't automatically mean it is defective. There must be some sort of viable malfunction. For example, there might be inadequate warnings concerning an unexpectedly dangerous aspect of the gun. Another example is if the firearm's safety in its design or manufacturing was inadequate.

In the end, determining whether one can bring a product liability suit based on a defective firearm is a complicated endeavor, and this post cannot guarantee any specific result in such cases. It takes a careful legal examination of the situation to determine whether a viable claim exists. Therefore, getting an attorney's advice before pursuing legal action may be a good idea.

Source: FindLaw, "Product Liability and Guns," Accessed Nov. 14, 2016

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