Rifle company will replace faulty trigger

2014-07-12T00:00:00Z Rifle company will replace faulty trigger Montana Standard

HELENA – The Remington Arms Co. has confirmed it will offer to replace trigger mechanisms on millions of Model 700 bolt-action hunting rifles, as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement reported earlier this week.

In a statement issued Thursday, the company said it “pursue a settlement” in which it will replace the trigger mechanism, which the lawsuit alleged is defective and causes the rifles sometimes to fire without a trigger pull, or offer some sort of compensation to rifle owners.

The Lee Newspapers State Bureau reported Monday on the settlement and its likely inclusion of a recall of the Model 700s, after a settlement notice was filed July 2 in U.S. District Court in Missouri. The agreement also will settle a similar lawsuit in federal court in Washington state.

Thursday’s statements by Remington and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said Remington Arms agreed to the settlement but denied allegations of economic loss by those who filed the suits.

Remington has sold more than 5 million of the popular hunting rifles

since 1962.

The company and the plaintiffs declined to provide further details about the settlement, which must be approved by the court before taking effect.

Last week’s settlement notice said an agreement will be submitted to U.S. District Court in Missouri by Oct. 30.

Earlier this week, Richard Barber of Manhattan, who has been investigating the Model 700 for a dozen years and pressing the company to recall the weapons and replace the trigger mechanism, said the settlement will “accomplish what I want to accomplish.”

“I guess it’s safe to say, it’s better late than never,” he told the Lee Newspapers State Bureau on Monday. “As a whole, (the settlement) represents the best interests of the public. It will save lives, it will save limbs.”

Barber’s 9-year-old son, Gus, was killed by a Model 700 rifle in a 2000 hunting accident in Montana. The family says the rifle fired when Barber’s wife, Barbara, released the safety as she prepared to unload the weapon. The bullet passed through a horse trailer and hit Gus, who was standing behind the trailer.

Barber sued Remington and later settled the lawsuit after extracting a promise from the company that it would redesign what he determined was a faulty trigger mechanism.

However, Barber said the company reneged on a promise to stop manufacturing the old trigger mechanism.

At least three class-action suits have been filed in federal court against Remington involving the Model 700 and dozens of other lawsuits have been filed by people claiming injury or death from rifles that fired accidentally.

Remington has blamed users of the rifles for the accidents and won some of the cases. Barber, however, has said the company knew for years about problems with the trigger mechanism and systematically denied and concealed them.

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(5) Comments

  1. WJ
    Report Abuse
    WJ - July 14, 2014 11:15 am
    Recall Debate and Design Changes

    Documents show that in later years, Remington decided at least twice—in 1979 and 1994—to abandon the idea of a nationwide recall of the 700 series, in part because officials feared it would undercut their message to the public about firearm safety, including making certain the gun is pointed in a safe direction and not becoming overly reliant on the gun's safety mechanism.

    "If proper firearms safety rules are followed, no accidental injuries would ever occur," Remington says in its statement.

    But former employees interviewed by CNBC and testifying in court cases have claimed that Remington also was careful not to disclose to customers that others had complained about inadvertent discharges. Instead, these employees say, they were instructed to say that every instance was unique.

    Remington has made some changes in the rifle. In 1982, it eliminated a feature called a "bolt lock," which required the user to switch off the safety in order to unload the gun—a common source of inadvertent discharges.

    But Remington did not publicize the change until 2002. That year, Remington came closest to a recall. The company offered—for a $20 fee—to retrofit existing rifles, removing the bolt lock so they could be unloaded with the safety on. The so-called "Safety Modification Program" was part of a settlement with the Barber family, whose rifle was among millions produced before 1982 with a bolt lock.


  2. srvdmytym
    Report Abuse
    srvdmytym - July 12, 2014 6:30 pm
    Do you know anything about the 700 Remington? Have you ever seen the trigger/safety mechanism? Remington is one of the few rifles that have always had an adjustable trigger system.....a system of two or three small screws located in front of and behind the actual trigger....those screws adjust the pounds of pressure needed to be applied to the trigger to cause the rifle to fire, and things like length of travel and over travel of the trigger. Now, once again, we are talking about millions of rifles out there being used, hunters, law enforcement, military.....MILLIONS.....and how many actual instances of accidental discharges are there, how many of them are "operator error" and how many are caused by "basement gunsmiths", making adjustments that should not be made?.....would not logic dictate that if this firearm was so unsafe there would be a myriad of accidents? Why aren't all of you sycophants screaming bloody murder about GM.....there have been far more people injured/killed by defects, known of by GM, and ignored.....than the Model 700 Remington.....but I guess that's OK huh, 'cause you be driven your Cheby!
  3. WJ
    Report Abuse
    WJ - July 12, 2014 3:06 pm
    What about Remington Arms responsibility of producing a firearm with a functioning safety? Remington has been manufacturing firearms for a long time, one might think that making a safety that works should not be that difficult.
  4. srvdmytym
    Report Abuse
    srvdmytym - July 12, 2014 8:34 am
    ....."killelk", you obviously have been napping for about 30 years? Personal responsibility is no longer "politically correct".....what is p/c is to take no responsibility for anything....and then if something goes awry, blame everyone, in every direction.....and then walk away feeling that you have done something wonderful. You are absolutely correct in your assessment of this particular situation; but me thinks that it largely falls on deaf ears? I can't imagine loosing a child...in any way or manner, and sadly, accidents do happen, even under the most controlled of situations....there are things that I believe are inevitable in life, for a few....things that the longer you do them, the greater the chance for something to go wrong will occur.....driving a car....you will eventually have an accident, may not be your fault, but it WILL happen, working with horses/cattle.....not if....but when......firearms....."familiarity breeds contempt".....we are human, and we are all flawed.....sadly, some mistakes are of such monumental proportions that our psyche cannot either process them, or our hearts, to deal with them! The "Gus" situation is bad in all directions....
  5. killelk
    Report Abuse
    killelk - July 12, 2014 7:48 am
    Whatever happened to treat every gun as if it were loaded, ALWAYS keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and, be sure of your target and BEYOND? Start taking some responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others.

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