My 15-year-old son, Kenzo, was killed in 1994 in an unintentional shooting while visiting a friend of his in Berkeley, California. My wife and I soon learned that the pistol that killed him lacked a prominent chamber-loaded indicator that could have prevented his death. We filed a lawsuit to force Beretta USA and the gun industry to design safer handguns.
My book, Who Killed Kenzo? will soon be released. It tells the story of the three trials spanning 10 years in the Dix v. Beretta USA courtroom battle, giving full voice to both sides of a vital, fascinating and ongoing American debate.
Ultimately, we lost. But I joined a California coalition that passed the nation’s first set of state laws establishing product-safety standards for handguns. They helped cut the state’s rate of unintentional gun death by two-thirds.
However, in 2005, the gun industry got Congress to pass The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which granted gun manufacturers and gun dealers special legal immunity. This denies victims of gun violence their right to equal justice. A bill in Congress, The Equal Justice to Victims of Gun Violence Act, would repeal PLCAA. This is a priority of the Biden administration.