NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A bill that protects gun manufacturers and sellers from civil action, if someone is hurt by a gun, passed the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Tennessee Senate on April 18.
The bill, HB 1189, was introduced by Representative Monty Fritts (R - Kingston). It says that a person would not be able to bring "a qualified civil liability action in court in this state against a dealer, manufacturer or seller," unless under specific circumstances.
A person could only sue if the dealer or manufacturer was directly involved in a crime that gave rise to the lawsuit. Someone could also sue if the other party is facing federal charges, or if they were during for "negligent entrustment."
A person could also sue if the gun was made or sold in a way that violates a state or federal statute on how it could be marketed or sold, or if there was a breach in the gun's warranty. They could also sue if there is a defect in the gun that led to a death or injury.
The Senate version allows people to sue if the gun is misrepresented by a dealer or manufacturer in a way that could result in a person harming another person without intending to. It also allows people to sue if a defective gun causes a death, physical injury or property damage.
The bill passed the Tennessee House of Representatives on March 6. It would take effect on July 1, 2023.