The 101 California Street shootings made national legal history Wednesday as the First District Court of Appeal became the first appellate court ever to rule that a gun manufacturer can be held liable for criminal misuse of a firearm.

The opinion, holding that Navegar Inc. must stand trial for the 1993 massacre committed by Gian Luigi Ferri, sharply divided the court. Written by Justice J. Anthony Kline, the ruling frequently cites precedents from sitting California Supreme Court justices — an apparent attempt by one of the court’s most liberal justices to bullet-proof the opinion if it is reviewed.

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