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Legal Remedies Following Gun Violence


The horrific Orlando Airport shooting on Jan. 6, 2017 incited in the nation a collective gasp. This incident, following the Orlando nightclub shooting the previous summer, has left Floridians, in particular, horror-struck. It is difficult to imagine the fear and pain that survivors of these incidents endure on a daily basis. But to be clear, their agony, and that of thousands of people subjected to gun violence in one way or another every day, is becoming a thread in the American culture that cannot be ignored.

Gun Violence Statistics

Although mass shootings—shootings involving four or more victims– are highly publicized, and have occurred in roughly 100 metro areas in the past year, they account for only 2% of gun deaths in this country every year. What do we know about gun violence?

  • Nearly 13,000 people were killed in the US with guns 2015.
  • On a typical day, 36 people are killed by guns in America.
  • Black men, who comprise 6 percent of the population, comprise half of those murdered with guns every day in this country.
  • American children under the age of 18 are killed by guns at a rate of two per day, topping out at 756 deaths in 215.
  • Toddlers who get their hands on unsecured guns shoot someone else about one time each week in America.
  • The number of deaths by guns now parallels the number of automobile deaths in this country.
  • When firearms are involved in domestic violence, death is likely to result 12 times more frequently.
  • More Americans have lost their lives to gun violence in the United States since 1968 than the total number of lives lost on every single battlefield in all the wars in America’s history.

The statistics tell a story, but not the whole story. Because we all know that behind every act of violence involving a gun, somebody is responsible. What do Florida’s laws tell us?

  • In Florida, it a misdemeanor to fail to store a firearm properly out of the reach of minors. Parents are civilly liable for their children’s actions, so they may be required to pay compensation for injuries caused by their children.
  • S. S. 397 (109th) provides limited situations in which gun manufacturers may be held liable for damages:
    • If the manufacturer sells a gun, knowing it will be used in a crime;
    • If negligence by the seller is involved;
    • If the warranty was breached;
    • If the product was defective;
    • If a violation in marketing or sales led to harm;
    • If the Attorney General chooses to enforce the National Firearms Act or the Gun Control Act.
  • When gun accidents occur due to reckless handling, the shooter, as well as the owner of the gun, may be liable.
  • When drugs or alcohol are involved in an accident, (the leading cause of accidental gun injuries) the shooter is liable.
  • When a gun is used in the commission of another crime, the shooter is liable.

When Gun Violence Touches You Personally

Gun violence is brash and potent, and the physical and psychological effects can be devastating.  When it knocks on your door, knock on ours at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton. Our knowledgeable wrongful death and personal injury teams in Daytona and Ormond Beach will handle your case with sensitivity and aggression. Contact us today for a confidential, free consultation.