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Bill to protect gunmakers from 'frivolous' lawsuits moves forward

A bill that would offer protections from "frivolous" lawsuits to gunmakers and gun shops passed a Senate committee Friday.
A bill that would offer protections from "frivolous" lawsuits to gunmakers and gun shops passed a Senate committee Friday.
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SALT LAKE CITY — A bill that would offer protections from "frivolous" lawsuits to gunmakers and gun shops passed a Senate committee Friday.

HB298 would apply to lawsuits in which the gun operated as intended and designed.

Bill sponsor Rep. Justin Fawson, R-North Ogden, said it closely matches federal law protecting gunmakers. Under the bill, litigation against gunmakers or gun shops would only be allowed if a firearm malfunctioned.

Doug Foxley, representing the Utah State Bar, said the group opposes the bill because it "basically deletes a significant number of individuals who may have culpability."

Fawson said it's no surprise that those who make a living from lawsuits oppose a bill that limits them.

Clark Aposhian, with the Utah Shooting Sports Council, expressed support for the bill.

HB298 passed in the Senate Business and Labor Committee with a 4-1 vote and now moves to the full Senate.

— Emily Larson