Sig Sauer faces allegations laid out in a proposed class action that its SIG P320-brand semi-automatic pistols are defective in that they can inadvertently discharge a round of ammunition in the event they’re dropped on the ground. According to the 31-page suit filed in Texas federal court, the handguns suffer from the alleged defect, referred to in the complaint as a “drop fire,” despite Sig Sauer’s representations that the products were “drop safe” and “won’t fire unless you want [them] to.”
As the lawsuit tells it, the “commercially successful” P320 gun, which the case notes is favored by law enforcement and was selected in 2016 by the United States Army to replace its standard-issue M9 service pistol, is unreasonably dangerous due to its design and manufacture. Moreover, Sig Sauer, the complaint alleges, has possessed awareness of the so-called drop fire defect since at least April 2016, when the U.S. Army reportedly discovered the flaw during field testing. From the lawsuit:
“In the Army’s assessment, a heavy and defective trigger and sear caused the drop fire issue. The Army insisted that SIG fix the deficiency by installing a lighter trigger and modified sear.”
The case goes on to say that while the defendant quickly implemented the Army’s fix for the military version of the weapon, Sig Sauer continued to manufacture defective P320 pistols for the civilian market until late 2017. According to the lawsuit, it’s believed that “approximately 500,000” drop-fire defective P320 pistols remain in circulation in the civilian market. Despite this, Sig Sauer has to date never issued a mandatory recall of its P320 weapon, the complaint states, and instead announced only a “voluntary upgrade” described in the suit as “purely optional, not urgent, and not mandatory.”
The lawsuit stresses that a pistol discharging upon coming into contact with the ground when dropped is “extremely rare,” an abnormality in the firearms industry. Further, the plaintiff asserts that his filing of the lawsuit intends no infringement upon any individual’s rights under the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
“[The plaintiff] is a responsible and law-abiding citizen who believes firearms should function properly and safely,” the case reads. “Among other things, [the plaintiff] wants to ensure that gun owners like himself are not duped into paying hundreds of dollars for guns that are unsafe."
The proposed class of individuals covered by the lawsuit includes anyone in the United States who bought a full-size and/or compact version of the SIG P320 semi-automatic pistol.