Massachusetts Attorney General Probes Gun Safety Issue

September 7, 2016

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is investigating possible safety problems with guns manufactured by at least two companies.

Remington Arms Co. and Glock Inc. have filed lawsuits to fight Healey’s efforts, saying she is overstepping her authority, according to a story published Thursday in The Boston Globe.

The lawsuits reveal that the Democratic Healey invoked her powers under the state’s consumer protection law to demand safety-related complaints from customers and the companies’ responses.

Healey says Glock firearms are “prone to accidental discharge” and is concerned the company may have been warned about the problem and failed to act.

“As the chief law enforcement officer in Massachusetts, we are seeking that information to better inform our residents and to protect them from any safety or manufacturing issues with guns sold here,” Healey spokeswoman Cyndi Roy Gonzalez said.

Glock’s lawsuit says Healey is attempting to “harass an industry that the attorney general finds distasteful and to make political headlines by pursing members of the firearm industry.”

Healey responded in court papers that Glock’s contention that she is politically motivated is “incorrect and irrelevant.”

Remington argues that Healey’s investigation is “unreasonable and excessively burdensome” because she is seeking product files from across the nation, even though less than 1 percent of the files relate to Massachusetts customers. The company says her investigation is a violation of consumer privacy rights and would harm the business.

Healey has not yet responded in court to Remington’s suit.

The investigation is not Healey’s first battle with the gun industry. In July, she sent an enforcement notice to gun sellers and manufacturers clarifying what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon under the state’s assault weapons ban. She said some weapons are modified slightly to get around state law. The crackdown was criticized by gun rights advocates.

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