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Editorial: Class Action Settlement Leaves Gun Maker Taurus Sitting Pretty...Or, So They Think

Editor's note: This article was submitted by a reader, and published by special request. Please refer to our disclaimer page

Not too long ago, I read an article regarding the gun maker Taurus agreeing to $30 million class action settlement over a trigger defect. In this article by Courtney Coren, two major items stand out to me...

The first major thing that concerns me is the idea that a gun maker allegedly knew they were selling a defective gun since 2007. Eight years ago? Really? It took eight years before they're forced to do anything about it. I wonder how many of these guns were sold in the eight years they knew about the defect? My guess is it's way more than the 200,000 that are allotted for in the settlement. I doubt Taurus is worried about the $30 million settlement, because - if you do the math - the company had a gross revenue of $70 million from those 200,000 pistols (average cost of $350 per pistol).

Now, stop and think for a second... What if they actually sold one million of these nine types of guns involved with the settlement? Then their gross revenue would be more likely $350 million. At that quantity, the settlement is more like a "cost of goods sold" rather than a penalty. They still made $320 million off of selling potentially lethally defective handguns.


It gets better; not only are they required to pay back a mere portion of which you bought the handgun for, but they also get to keep the gun itself. And like any smart business would do, they will probably fix (or try to) the defect that they allegedly knew about for eight years and then sell the handguns again. This reduces their manufacturing costs and therefore increases profit margin. Basically, it's a win-win situation for Taurus.

Or, maybe not.

What about all the handguns that should be recalled or returned but aren't (for some reason or another)? If they actually sold one million of these defective handguns but only recalled 200,000 of them, 800,000 defective handguns would remain in the hands of the public. That would be 800,000 handguns that carry a warning in their manual that states: "Do not carry your firearm in any way that might let it fall or be bumped. If a firearm falls, or is bumped, it may fire."  

"Bumped.....may fire".... REALLY??? That's a lot of potential accidental discharges (and the second point that concerns me).

What if it has already happened, and we just don't know about it yet?

What if I were leaving for work, and carry my pistol - as I do, everyday - and it falls to the ground and fires a 9mm round through my abdomen?  Oh wait...that has already happened. (Maroney v. Taurus International Manufacturing, Inc., et al.)

What if I were coming back from a walk around the neighborhood and removing my shirt, when my handgun and holster fall to the ground and fire a .40 cal round into me?  Oh, wait...that, too, has already happened. (Price v. Taurus International Manufacturing Inc., et al.)

What if I were a Brazilian police officer and pulled my handgun out in self defense, but instead the pistol fires off the entire magazine without touching the trigger?  Oh, wait: that has already happened. (Brazilian Police recall 98,000 Taurus 24/7 DS Pistols).

That's 98,002 of the potential 800,000 taken care of.  What's next?

What if I were an innocent man putting the magazine back in a Taurus handgun...and I thought the magazine had jammed...and I bumped the magazine to get it in place. What are the odds that my whole world might change, for the worst? Would I see the round be automatically loaded and fired, all at once? Would I see it go through my hand...through my child's neck...and into my wife's arm?

I wonder where that ranks on the Taurus "costs of goods sold" scale? 

What is your child worth?

Apparently, $320 million to Taurus. Or, so they think.

(To be continued...)

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