NEW YORK, Feb. 25 Moving swiftly, the National Rifle Association has succeeded in getting legislation underway in at least 10 states that would preclude local governments from suing gun manufacturers and distributors. The latest bill, proposed earlier this week in Florida, is the toughest so far, making it a felony for any local official to file such a lawsuit.
The Florida bill, expected to advance rapidly, would make it a crime punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine for any local government official or employee to file suit against gunmakers. The bill includes a retroactive provision that would quash a suit filed by Miami-Dade County in January that seeks to hold gunmakers liable for what the city spends on police and county hospital services because of gun violence. It would also prevent suits from at least two other Florida cities, Tampa and St. Petersburg, that are considering taking gun manufacturers to court.
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