The city of Buffalo, New York, filed a lawsuit against several gun manufacturers on Tuesday following a mass shooting earlier this year that left 10 people dead.
Mayor Byron Brown, a Democrat-turned-independent, said the suit was filed in the state Supreme Court and the defendants include Smith & Wesson, Bushmaster, Colts, Glock, Beretta, and Remington. The lawsuit was filed in the state Supreme Court.
A news release pointed to the racially motivated mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store in May. Last month, the male suspect pleaded guilty to charges brought against him, which included first-degree murder, attempted murder, a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, and weapons possession.
“Members of our community have suffered too much for too long from gun violence,” Brown said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We must do everything we can to decrease gun violence. Enabling the possession of illegal guns destroys lives and deeply affects our neighborhood, especially in black and brown communities.”
The mayor described the lawsuit as “another proactive strategy that we are utilizing in Buffalo to keep our community safe.”
“We have state public nuisance laws that we are empowered to enforce, and I intend on doing all that I can as Mayor to protect people and prevent the loss of lives resulting from gun violence,” Brown said. “The conduct of certain gun manufacturers has unreasonably interfered with the public’s right to use open space free from fear.”
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants’ “actions have created, maintained, or contributed to a condition in the City of Buffalo that endangers the safety and health of the public.” It also added that the gun industry “manufactured or distributed thousands of firearms recovered in crimes committed in the City of Buffalo and New York State.”
It seeks damages and for the defendants “to endow an abatement fund with sufficient capital to eliminate the public nuisance they are responsible for creating, exacerbating, and/or perpetuating.”
One of the defendants, Bushmaster, responded in a statement to CNN.
“We have not had a chance to review the allegations in full at this time, but upon first blush, the verified allegations against Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Inc. are false,” Bushmaster said. “Our counsel is currently reviewing the complaint and evaluating a path forward to address both this lawsuit and the potentially libelous claims made against Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Inc.”