NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Gun Lawsuits Rife With Hypocrisy

December 29, 1999

The same administration that wants to sue gun makers for the cost of gun violence defends the right of criminals to live in public housing and refuses to prosecute them when they commit gun crimes, NCPA Senior Policy Analyst H. Sterling Burnett points out.

The Clinton administration's Department of Housing and Urban Development is joining hypocritical mayors in pursuing suits against gun manufacturers and distributors, says Burnett.

  • Some of the cities involved in the suits are in the gun business -- trading in their used police firearms for resale in exchange for new guns.
  • Since 1993, federal prosecutions of for firearm crimes have fallen 44 percent and sentence lengths for firearm violations have dropped 20 percent under the Clinton Justice Department.
  • In addition, the administration has supported lawsuits by the Legal Services Corporation to stop public housing authorities from evicting criminals.

While opinion polls show the public supports stricter enforcement of existing laws, a Tarrance Group poll found that only 5 percent of the public feels that manufacturers should be held responsible when firearms are misused.

Source: H. Sterling Burnett (senior policy analyst, National Center for Policy Analysis), "Gun Lawsuits Hurt Us All," Investor's Business Daily, December 29, 1999.


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