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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 03/98: US shooting  
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Saturday, 28 March, 1998, 07:10 GMT
Jonesboro parents to sue gunmakers
burial
Family members gather at the burial site of one of the dead children
The parents of one of the children shot during an attack on a school at Jonesboro in Arkansas on Tuesday are to launch a civil law suit against gun manufacturers.

Two boys aged 11 and 13 have been charged with carrying out the assault, in which four girl pupils and a teacher were killed and 10 other pupils were injured.

The lawyer involved in the civil case, Bobby McDaniel, will not identify the family involved but says they want to change American attitudes towards guns and to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.

Mr McDaniel says his case will focus on the need for trigger locks to be built into all guns sold to civilians. Such locks are available as extras but he aims to make them compulsory.

He says the locks enable gun owners to disable their weapons while they are being stored and if a gun is stolen the thief is unable to use it.

Ballistic tests

Police say that the two boys accused of carrying out the Jonesboro killings stole the guns during a burglary at the home of one of their grandfathers.

The family of the victim believed their child would not have been hurt if the locks had been installed.

Mr McDaniel is waiting for the results of ballistic tests before filing his law suit. He says he will sue the makers of guns proved to have been fired during the attack.

He acknowledges that his chances of winning are small because of the immense power of the arms industry but he hopes to copy the success of lawyers who took on cigarette manufacturers over links with lung cancer and have won damages running into thousands of millions of dollars.

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