The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is fairly clear. It’s illegal to sue a firearm manufacturer because of what a third party does with one of their products.
The law sprung up because of the malicious lawsuits against gun companies by gun control activists. They were trying to sue gun makers into oblivion with frivolous litigation. Congress, in a rare moment of wisdom, moved to block such things.
Now, though, they’re trying a different tactic. Worse, though, is that the courts are letting them.
A judge has ruled that information 10 Sandy Hook families are seeking from gunmaker Remington in a wrongful death lawsuit are “fair game,” and Remington must “act in good faith” to provide it.
“The obligation to act in good faith and provide documents within their knowledge, possession, or power rests on (Remington), and it is fair game for the (families) to discover whether the defendants met their obligations,” wrote Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis in a ruling on Tuesday.
The ruling sends the nation’s oldest gunmaker back to the negotiating table with lawyers for nine families who lost loved ones and a teacher who was shot in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, as the two sides prepare for a 2021 trial.
Tuesday’s ruling against Remington represents the families’ latest victory in their six-year battle charging the maker of the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting with reckless marketing, in violation of Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.
In mid-June, Bellis permitted the families’ attorneys to question the gunmaker’s executives under oath about its internal organization and procedures — questions which Remington considered invasive and improper.
Unfortunately, the setbacks Remington has endured are taking this case and turning it from one where the gun grabbers had little to no chance of winning and giving them a great deal of hope that maybe they will.
However, I’m not convinced that will be the case.
You see, part of the problem is that they’re targeting Remington’s marketing. They’re claiming that Remington marketed this gun as uber-deadly or something. Yet there are a couple of problems I see with this.
After all, the Sandy Hook shooter didn’t buy the gun in the first place. He murdered his own mother and stole her Remington AR-15.
Second, I don’t see how you can blame Remington for claiming the weapon is super-deadly when the media has been making that case for ages now, well before Sandy Hook took place.
Finally, it seems to me that this is also a free speech issue. Companies aren’t allowed to make fraudulent claims about their products, but we generally allow them to market their guns any way they want to beyond that. Trying to attack the marketing is an attempt to punish a company for trying to sell their products in a way the anti-gun jihadists simply don’t approve of.
It should be noted, though, that so far, most of Remington’s setbacks have been procedural. None of these ruling are on the merits of the case itself, which means that none of them really tell us that Remington is going to lose this case. Regardless, though, this illustrates just how important it is for pro-gun forces to win in November.
After all, which gun rights supporters in control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, maybe we can amend the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to cut off this particular foolishness as well.