Remington and Glock have filed suit to block Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s attempt to investigate possible safety problems with guns manufactured by the companies.
The gun makers contend Healey’s investigation is just another one of her attempts to garner headlines above the folds of liberal newspapers, as well as further her campaign to cripple the firearms industry.
In Healey’s response to the Glock lawsuit, her attorneys said the AG’s office had no alternative because firearms are “one of the few products not regulated by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
The Boston Globe reported Healey used the powers provided by the Massachusetts consumer protection law to demand Remington and Glock turn over boxes full of documents including paperwork that would address safety-related complaints from customers, as well as how the companies responded.
“As the chief law enforcement office in Massachusetts, we are seeking that information to better inform our residents and to protect them from any safety or manufacturing issues with guns sold here,” Cyndi Roy Gonzalez said. “It’s unfortunate that these gun manufacturers have taken our office to court rather than comply with a simple request for consumer complaints and related information.”
If Healey’s suspicions are proved correct, people who carry Glock firearms are packing an accident waiting to happen.
“There are scores of public reports about defects involving firearms, including accidental firing, misfiring, overheating problems and low ‘trigger pull’ leading to horrific stories of accidental shootings by children,” Gonzalez said.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office response to the Glock lawsuit argued that Glock firearms are “prone to accidental discharge” and cites cases such as a sheriff’s deputy who accidentally fired a Glock pistol in San Francisco’s Hall of Justice.
“One deputy brought the handgun into the Hall of Justice and handed it to another deputy, who, asking how it worked, pointed it at the first deputy,” the Massachusetts AG Office response contended. “Unaware that it was loaded, he pulled the trigger. It barely missed the first deputy.”
Healey’s response also cited the case of an LAPD cop who was paralyzed from the waist down after his 3-year-old son accidentally fired his Glock, as well as the widely reported story of a 32-year-old man in Connecticut who was packing a Glock pistol in his pocket that went off while he was dancing.
But attorneys for Glock Inc. contended in their lawsuit that Healey cares far more about harassing the firearms industry than she does about people who might be injured by an accidental shooting.
Attorneys for Remington Arms Co. said Healey’s investigation is “unreasonable and excessively burdensome” because she is going after product files from every locale where Remington sells guns. They say less than 1 percent of the documents would relate to guns sold in Massachusetts.
The Glock lawsuit struck back much harder.
Glock attorneys argued that Healey’s history of calling gun violence a “public health crisis” and “an epidemic” shows that her “true purpose is to harass an industry that the attorney general finds distasteful and to make political headlines.”
Glock’s people said the fact that their company’s handguns can only be sold to law enforcement personnel in Massachusetts proves Healey is scrambling to make more of a name for herself with liberals.
Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation told the Washington Free Beacon he agreed Healey’s motivation is obvious.
“Attorney General Healey has declared war on guns,” Gottlieb said. “Her goal is to eliminate gun ownership. What we need is a ban on assault politicians who do not respect constitutional rights.”
Besides, Gottlieb asked, if Glocks are so unsafe, why are police departments still buying them?
Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners’ Action League, a gun rights group in Massachusetts, said Healey’s investigation was nothing but “a fishing expedition” and branded it “an abuse of power.”
“She’s continuing her attack on anything firearm-related and anything Second Amendment-related,” Wallace told Mass Live. “It’s pretty clear she’s using her office as a bully pulpit to go after anyone she politically doesn’t like.”
However, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office argued that yearning for political headlines can work both ways.
Healey’s response to the Glock petition to stop or at least modify her office’s investigation claimed that the manufacturer’s lawsuit was not much more than “political invective.”
The only point Healey was willing to concede was “arguably ripe for review” was the assertion that the Attorney General’s Office had no business investigating the manufacturer because Glock handguns can only be sold to police officers.
But Healey’s staff contends that they have the right under “well-established” state law to conduct its investigation because Glock could still have liability for “product defects, misleading marketing, and for failure to honor warranties.”
Besides that, the AG office’s response claimed 8,000 of the more than 10,000 Glock handguns sold in Massachusetts between Jan. 1, 2014, and Aug. 13, 2015, were not purchased for police officers.
“Irrespective of whether the sales were made legally or not,” Healey’s response contended, “there are a large number of Glock guns in the hands of Massachusetts consumers.”