Suing the Gun Industry

A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts
Timothy D. Lytton
The first comprehensive analysis of recent lawsuits against gun makers


Gun litigation deserves a closer look amid the lessons learned from decades of legal action against the makers of asbestos, Agent Orange, silicone breast implants, and tobacco products, among others.  

Suing the Gun Industry collects the diverse and often conflicting opinions of an outstanding cast of specialists in law, public health, public policy, and criminology and distills them into a complete picture of the intricacies of gun litigation and its repercussions for gun control.

Using multiple perspectives, Suing the Gun Industry scrutinizes legal action against the gun industry. Such a broad approach highlights the role of this litigation within two larger controversies: one over government efforts to reduce gun violence, and the other over the use of mass torts to regulate unpopular industries.

Readers will find Suing the Gun Industry a timely and accessible picture of these complex and controversial issues.

Timothy D. Lytton is Professor of Law at Albany Law School, where he teaches torts, alternative dispute resolution, and constitutional law. His work has been cited in leading gun cases by the New York Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Praise / Awards

  • "Whether you're a Second Amendment advocate (like me), a gun control fanatic, or simply someone who cares deeply about economic and personal freedom in America, we all have a stake in the debate that continues to wage in legislatures and courtrooms across the country over whether firearms manufacturers and retailers should be held liable for subsequent misuse of their lawful products. The very best way to educate yourself as to both sides of this critical debate, is to read Timothy Lytton's book, Suing the Gun Industry – A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts."
    —Bob Barr, Member of Congress, 1995-2003, and Twenty-First Century Liberties Chair for Freedom and Privacy, American Conservative Union

  • "THE source for anyone interested in a balanced analysis of the lawsuits against the gun industry."
    —David Hemenway, Professor of Health Policy & Director, Harvard Injury Control Research Center Harvard School of Public Health Health Policy and Management Department, author of Private Guns, Public Health

  • "Highly readable, comprehensive, well-balanced. It contains everything you need to know, and on all sides, about the wave of lawsuits against U.S. gun manufacturers."
    —James B. Jacobs, Warren E. Burger Professor of Law, Author of Can Gun Control Work?

  • "This is a thought-provoking collection of papers on different aspects of the leading current approach to gun control. The chapters vary considerably in focus and objectivity, and the issue of litigation is more thoroughly discussed than the politics of preemption -- perhaps due to the general avoidance of both sides' hard-liners."
    —Paul Blackman, retired pro-gun criminologist and advocate.

  • "In Suing the Gun Industry, Timothy Lytton has assembled some of the leading scholars and advocates, both pro and con, to analyze this fascinating effort to circumvent the well-known political obstacles to more effective gun control. This fine book offers a briefing on both the substance and the legal process of this wave of lawsuits, together with a better understanding of the future prospects for this type of litigation vis-à-vis other industries."
    —Philip J. Cook, Duke University

  • "Mass tort litigation against the gun industry, with its practical weaknesses, successes, and goals, provides the framework for this collection of thoughtful essays by leading social scientists, lawyers, and academics. . . . These informed analyses reveal the complexities that make the debate so difficult to resolve. . . . Suing the Gun Industry masterfully reveals the many details contributing to the intractability of the gun debate."
    New York Law Journal

  • "A comprehensive and well-balanced overview of gun litigation, bringing together work by scholars and other experts who view gun litigation from diverse perspectives. . . . Suing the Gun Industry looks back at gun litigation in diverse and provocative ways, providing tentative suggestions about how the litigation will be characterized in the years to come."
    —Allen Rostron, Santa Clara Law Review

  • ". . . a balanced and certainly thoughtful exploration of the debate over firearms in the United States and of what potential, if any, mass tort litigation holds as a mechanism to reduce the terrible toll of gun injury and death that persists year after year. . . . [I]t presents the debate in a series of reasoned, sometimes emotional, chapters that, while they do not necessarily resolve the debate's many issues, put the reader at its gritty center. It is worth a read for this alone."
    Journal of Legal Medicine

Look Inside

  • Table of Contents | PDF | HTML |
  • Front Matter | PDF |
  • Acknowledgments | PDF |
  • Introduction: An Overview of Lawsuits against the Gun Industry by Timothy D. Lytton
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 1: A Public Health Perspective on Gun Violence Prevention by Julie Samia Mair, Stephen Teret, and Shannon Frattaroli
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 2: The Limited Importance of Gun Control from a Criminological Perspective by Don B. Kates
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 3: The American Gun Industry: Designing and Marketing Increasingly Lethal Weapons by Tom Diaz
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 4: A Cultural Critique of Gun Litigation by Dan M. Kahan, Donald Braman, and John Gastil
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 5: Private Lawyers, Public Lawsuits: Plaintiffs' Attorneys in Municipal Gun Litigation by Howard M. Erichson
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 6: The NRA, the Brady Campaign, and the Politics of Gun Litigation by Timothy D. Lytton
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 7: Gun Litigation in the Mass Tort Context by Richard A. Nagareda
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 8: Comparing Tobacco and Gun Litigation by Stephen D. Sugarman
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 9: Why Regulating Guns through Litigation Won't Work by Peter H. Schuck
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 10: The Complementary Role of Tort Litigation in Regulating the Gun Industry by Timothy D. Lytton
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 11: Stubborn Information Problems and the Regulatory Benefits of Gun Litigation by Wendy Wagner
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 12: Liability Insurance and the Regulation of Firearms by Tom Baker and Thomas O. Farrish
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Chapter 13: Gun Litigation and the Constitution by Brannon P. Denning
    | PDF | HTML |
  • Afterword: Federal Gun Industry Immunity Legislation by Timothy D. Lytton | PDF | HTML |
  • Notes | PDF |
  • Contributors | PDF |
  • Table of Cases | PDF |
  • Index | PDF |

Copyright © 2005 and 2007, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 448 pages.
  • 5 Tables.
Available for sale worldwide

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  • 2009
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02180-2

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  • Gun control, Political Science, Tort Litigation, Law, Violence, Meaning, Gun Industry, Public Policy, National Rifle Association of America, Lawsuits