Once upon a time, a favorite tactic of the anti-gunner was to sue every gun manufacturer for every misuse of a firearm. Someone would get shot with a Smith & Wesson, then Smith & Wesson would have to worry if it was going to get sued.
No one accused manufacturers of doing anything illegal, mind you. They just wanted to blame gun companies for making a product that someone later used for a criminal act.
As a result, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). The idea was to make it so firearm manufacturers didn’t have to deal with lawsuits every time they turned around. It didn’t give them immunity from bad actions, only from malicious and frivolous lawsuits meant to punish them for daring to be in a business anti-gunners didn’t like.
Now, thanks to the Connecticut State Supreme Court, it might as well not even exist.
Justices issued a 4-3 ruling that reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit and overturned a lower court ruling that the lawsuit was prohibited by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from liability in most cases when their products are used in crimes.
The plaintiffs include a survivor and relatives of nine people killed in the massacre. They argue the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter [Name Redacted so as to not glorify homicidal maniacs] is too dangerous for the public and Remington glorified the weapon in marketing it to young people.
This should be interesting.
The ruling just came out, so we’re still lacking in a lot of details at the moment. However, I do expect Remington will take some legal action to kick this over to federal court and potentially up to the Supreme Court.
What’s especially glaring to me is that the marketing for the gun is irrelevant. After all, the killer didn’t purchase the gun lawfully in the first place. He murdered his own mother and took her AR-15. Apparently, this marketing to young people actually managed to sell the product to an adult woman well past the age when she could buy any firearm she wanted.
Now, the court didn’t make a claim on the validity of the case. It’s not saying that the plaintiffs are right or anything of the sort, only that the lawsuit can proceed. However, the court shouldn’t even have done that.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act exists explicitly to guard against this kind of malicious litigation by anti-gun activists who urge distraught family members to go on these ill-advised and Quixotic revenge quests against people who did nothing wrong.
It would be different if they were arguing that Remington somehow acted irresponsibly in selling a gun to a gun store or distributor. It would be different if someone, anyone, had broken the rules with regard to selling this maniac a gun.
But no one did.
No one sold him anything.
He murdered. His own. Mother.
Do they really think someone so filled with rage that he’d do that wouldn’t get his hand on a gun somehow? My guess is that they don’t. They don’t really care about that. In their minds, Remington’s real sin was in making guns in the first place, and for that they’ll do everything they can to punish them.