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Class-Action Lawsuit filed on Behalf of Remington Model 700 Rifle Owners in North Carolina, Washington Due to Defective Trigger Mechanism

Feb 5, 2013

Consumers in two states are covered by a recently-filed class-action lawsuit against the iconic rifle manufacturer Remington Arms Co. because thousands of the guns the company makes feature a defective trigger mechanism that causes them to fire unexpectedly.

Owners of the Remington Model 700 rifle can now seek damages against the company because their guns feature the Walker Fire Control device. This trigger mechanism is designed to allow a smoother fire from the rifle but since it was introduced on Remington rifles in 1948, the company has been aware of defects and malfunctions that cause guns with this device to fire even without a trigger pull.

The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP has been following developments related to the Walker Fire Control device on several Remington rifles for a few years and recently filed a class-action lawsuit in a federal courtroom on behalf of consumers in Washington state and North Carolina who purchased a Remington Model 700 rifle. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle. It names Remington Arms Company LLC., Sporting Goods Properties Inc., and E.I. Du Pont Nemours and Company as Defendants in the lawsuit.

The Walker Fire Control is found on more than 5 million rifles manufactured by Remington since the middle of the 20th Century, including thousands of Model 700 rifles. According to a release from Parker Waichman announcing the lawsuit, the “Walker Fire Control uses a separate ‘trigger connector’, an internal component that is not utilized by any other firearm’s manufacturer.” When a rifle with this Walker Fire Control device is fired, “a gap is created between the trigger body and the trigger connector,” the complaint notes. This allows debris to enter the enclosed trigger device such as field debris, manufacturing scrap, burrs from the manufacturing process, lubrication, and moisture. If this debris accumulates as the gun is fired more often, it can cause the trigger to fail to return to its original location, allowing the gun to fire unexpectedly when the trigger is not pulled.

These Remington Model 700 rifles and others with the Walker Fire Control device fire unexpectedly so often that the company has even developed an internal acronym to describe the events: FSR or Fire on Safe Release. The firm maintains that Remington has been aware of this defect associated with the Walker Fire Control device since it was introduced but has continued to market guns with it for decades, ignoring reports from gun owners involving an unexpected firing of the rifle. Many of these incidents have resulted in serious injuries when bystanders are hit with an unexpected rifle blast.

Specifically, Remington has received more than 3,200 reports of their Model 700 rifle firing unexpectedly from 1992 through 2004, alone. That’s an average of five incidents per week, according to information from Parker Waichman’s complaint. The firm believes the actual number of incidents involving an unexpected shot from these guns is much higher.
Further, the firm notes that the inventor of the Walker Fire Control device has confirmed that his device is only meant to save on manufacturing costs and create a smoother shot from the rifle but serves no other engineering purpose.


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