Gun Fighter

Horsburgh, Susan; Simison, Susan Schneider
June 2003
People;6/2/2003, Vol. 59 Issue 21, p79
In January 2003, three months after the 35-year-old Maryland bus driver, Conrad Johnson, died in the Washington, D.C.-area sniper attacks, his wife Denise Johnson filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the rifle used to kill Conrad, and the Tacoma, Washington, gun store that carried it. When the House of Representatives passed a bill last month banning virtually all civil suits against the gun industry--hers likely among them--Johnson took her case to Capitol Hill. Battling the powerful National Rifle Association, she has met with senators and held press conferences, sharing her painful story to ensure that the bill doesn't turn into law. Johnson has been asking the same question since last year, when she turned on the television news at 6:30 a.m. and saw a Montgomery County Transit bus surrounded by police cars. The bill would protect the gun industry from product liability in all but the rarest cases of egregious negligence--say, if a gun dealer sells a 9-mm pistol to a buyer who has announced that he plans to shoot someone and he does.


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