In the wake of the devastating mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, Tom D’Amore’s recent Law360 opinion piece, “Civil Litigation Against Gun Businesses Can Reduce Violence,” sheds light on the alarming surge in gun violence in the United States and how trial attorneys can do their part in curbing the gun violence epidemic.
Tom proposes a novel approach to combat this crisis: civil litigation targeting parties beyond the immediate perpetrators. Property owners and business owners of public and private places where gun violence occurs can be held accountable for lapses in security through negligence, inadequate security and premises liability claims.
Additionally, D’Amore advocates for suing gun manufacturers, dealers, and retailers, citing successful cases that challenge the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and hold these entities responsible.
One of those cases was brought right here in Oregon and litigated by Tom himself alongside co-counsel Jonathan Lowy, President of the non-profit Global Action on Gun Violence. Tom represented the family of Kirsten Englund in a civil suit against gun dealers who enabled her murder by providing a mentally unstable individual with multiple firearms through a straw purchaser. Plaintiffs in the case were able to overcome defendants’ claims of immunity under PLCAA and move forward with the case, eventually reaching a settlement with both sellers.
While recognizing that litigation alone cannot solve the complex issue of gun violence, Tom argues that it can exert significant financial pressure on companies contributing to the epidemic. With legislative progress slow and powerful lobbying groups obstructing change, his call for legal action offers a practical means to make those profiting from unrestricted gun sales share in the societal cost.
D’Amore Law Group, an Oregon-based personal injury law firm, was founded by Tom D’Amore, who is deeply committed to advocating for the rights of clients who have suffered severe injuries due to the negligence or intentional actions of individuals and corporations.