A Sense of Duty: Retiring the 'Special Relationship' Rule and Holding Gun Manfacturers Liable for Negligently Distributing Guns

46 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2001 Last revised: 27 Jul 2013

See all articles by Rachana Bhowmik

Rachana Bhowmik

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Jonathan E. Lowy

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Allen Rostron

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law

Rachel Hoover

Stanford Law School

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

In response to recent litigation brought against the gun industry on behalf of individuals and municipalities victimized as a result of the negligent marketing, design, and distribution of guns, the gun industry has argued that they cannot be held responsible for the victims' injuries because they have no "special relationship" with the victims. Without a "special relationship," gun manufacturers claim to have no duty whatsoever to design, market, or distribute guns in a reasonable fashion. This article examines the fallacies inherent in the gun industry's "special relationship" argument and discusses the factual, legal and policy grounds that support holding the gun industry responsible for its role in facilitating the misuse of guns.

Suggested Citation

Bhowmik, Rachana and Lowy, Jonathan E. and Rostron, Allen K. and Hoover, Rachel, A Sense of Duty: Retiring the 'Special Relationship' Rule and Holding Gun Manfacturers Liable for Negligently Distributing Guns (2000). Journal of Health Care Law & Policy, Vol. 4, Pp. 42-87, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=286376

Rachana Bhowmik (Contact Author)

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence ( email )

1225 Eye Street, N.W. - Suite 802
Washington, DC 20005
United States
(202) 289-7319 (Phone)
(202) 408-9748 (Fax)

Jonathan E. Lowy

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence ( email )

1225 Eye Street, N.W. - Suite 802
Washington, DC 20005
United States
(202) 289-7319 (Phone)
(202) 408-9748 (Fax)

Allen K. Rostron

University of Missouri at Kansas City - School of Law ( email )

5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499
United States

Rachel Hoover

Stanford Law School ( email )

165 Sierra Vista Avenue, Apt. 1
Mountain View, 94043
(202) 289-7319 (Phone)

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