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Report: Gun Makers Talk With Cities

October 2, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ For the first time since they have been sued over gun-related violence, gun manufacturers started talking with various cities on how to improve safety and make weapons tougher to get, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The negotiations, held Monday in Washington, were an initial effort to settle the suits brought by cities across the country, which seek millions of dollars in damages to recoup costs related to gun violence, the newspaper said.

Unidentified gun industry executives who attended said they would consider a list of the cities’ demands, including mandatory safety devices and a crackdown on corrupt gun retailers, the Times reported.

Present were Ed Shultz, chief executive of Smith and Wesson Corp., and officials from Sturm, Ruger and Co., Colt’s Manufacturing, O.F. Mossberg and sons, Taurus, Glock and Beretta.

Several gun makers, including the so-called Ring of Fire companies that encircle Los Angeles, were not invited. Also not invited was Washington attorney John Coale, one of a group of lawyers who represent Newark, N.J., New Orleans, Atlanta, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

City officials are seeking tighter controls by manufacturers over distribution to wholesalers and retailers.

With the goal of curbing the supply of handguns to criminals and juveniles through corrupt dealers, the companies would be cut off from those who supply a high number of guns used in crimes.

Any agreement would be overseen by an independent monitor picked by the cities and approved and paid for by the gun makers, lawyers involved in the talks told the Times.

Other demands include placing external locks on all guns, incorporating new technology allowing only owners to fire their guns and ending the sale of handguns at gun shows and on the Internet. In addition, city officials want advertisements stopped that claim guns increase home safety.

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