August 7, 2001–Victims cannot sue weapons manufacturers for damages when criminals use their products illegally, the California Supreme Court ruled today in a closely watched case testing gunmaker liability.

The high court’s decision – whether a gun manufacturer can be sued on allegations it was partly responsible for a criminal shooting – stems from a 1993 massacre of eight in a San Francisco law office skyscraper.

The justices kept in step with other courts in insulating gunmakers from liability. Every state high court and federal appellate court in the nation to consider such suits against gun manufacturers has ruled that makers of legal, non-defective guns cannot be sued for their criminal misuse.