Smith & Wesson Settlement
In a major victory for public safety, the lawsuits spearheaded by Brady on behalf of cities nationwide to fight the gun violence epidemic led to a landmark settlement by Smith & Wesson. Smith & Wesson, consistently one of the largest gun manufacturers in America, agreed to significantly reform its sales practices to prevent supplying the criminal gun market and to include life-saving safety features.
In 2000, Smith & Wesson agreed to change the way it designs, distributes and markets guns in exchange for an agreement to drop threatened lawsuits. The agreement marked the first big concession by the gun industry to the mounting public and political pressure for stronger gun controls.
The deal contained nearly a dozen new measures, including Smith & Wesson’s agreement to withhold its weapons even from authorized dealers at gun shows unless every other seller at the show agrees to conduct background checks of purchasers. Smith & Wesson further agreed to only do business with dealers who pledge to release no more than one gun every fourteen days to the same purchaser, helping eliminate bulk purchases of handguns which often result in trafficking. The gun giant also agreed to sever its ties with dealers who sell a disproportionate number of guns that result in crime.
Smith & Wesson also agreed to several new design standards, including installing trigger locks and developing “smart-gun” technology. This was a significant victory, demonstrating that gun makers can and will share in the responsibility to keep their products out of dangerous hands, and that gun makers can and will make their guns much safer.