California High Court

Reviews Gun Liability Law

SAN FRANCISCO--California's Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower court decision that would have allowed gunmakers to be held responsible for crimes committed with their firearms.

The court decided 6 to 1 to set aside a state appeals court ruling that allowed victims of a San Francisco massacre to sue Miami-based Navegar Inc., which made the TEC-9-type guns that Gian Luigi Ferri used to kill eight people and wound six others in 1993.

The decision means the entire case will be reheard, scrapping a groundbreaking September ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeals that set a precedent for suits against makers of legal, working guns used in crimes. In its 2 to 1 ruling, the appeals court noted that TEC-9 guns appeared to be manufactured and marketed expressly to appeal to criminals, and said Navegar could conceivably be accused of negligence in allowing the guns to be sold.

A TEC-DC9 like the two Ferri used was among weapons Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris used to massacre 13 people at Columbine High School last April before killing themselves.

In Sacramento, a state Assembly panel scuttled a bill that would require handgun owners to register their weapons and obtain licenses to use them, officials said. If the measure had passed, it would have been one of the toughest handgun control laws in the nation.

* SOUTH ORANGE, N.J.--The prosecutor overseeing the investigation into a dormitory fire that killed three Seton Hall University students and injured dozens, four critically, would not comment yesterday on a report in the Star-Ledger of Newark that police were seeking three men who were told by a dorm resident assistant to leave Boland Hall about 45 minutes before the fire broke out Wednesday morning.

* EVERETT, Mass.--A woman was killed when a package bomb exploded after she took it upstairs in a house in this Boston suburb. Authorities said the package was left at the house just after noon.