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ABC interviewed Dr. Michael Rodriguez, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about the public health aspects of firearms violence in the United States
The families of the people killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have reached a historic $73 million dollar settlement in a decade-long lawsuit against the maker of the AR-15 weapon the gunman used.
“Twenty children were killed and six adults and a subset of families have been working over 10 years to get some accountability by the manufacturer,” said Michael Rodriguez, professor at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health. “Guns, even though they're a consumer product, are not monitored or regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In fact, in 2005 Congress provided them immunity from being liable from any civil suits.”
That immunity from the Lawful Commerce Act is why settlements from civil suits against gun manufacturers have been hard to come by in the past, making this settlement a big breakthrough, according to professor of law Carl Tobias at the University of Richmond.