It was bound to happen. The Brady Bunch found a handful of victims of the Las Vegas shooting and convinced them that a lawsuit should be filed against Slide Fire, the manufacturer of the bump-fire stock used in the deadly attack. The fact that Slide Fire did nothing illegal or unethical is irrelevant, of course.
Plaintiffs filed a complaint in Clark County District Court, alleging that bump stock manufacturers were irresponsible in selling and producing the devices, Bloomberg reported.
Three Nevada residents are plaintiffs in the case, which is seeking unspecified damages to pay for victims’ counseling.
Slide Fire is one of the bump stock manufacturers named in the complaint, which also mentions several unnamed retailers who sold the devices.
Every. Single. Time.
These ghouls simply can’t help themselves, can they? There’s a tragedy like this, and they swoop in like vultures to convince the victims or victims’ families that they should file a lawsuit to teach the firearms industry a lesson.
Perhaps these families should find out what happened to the last folks the Brady Campaign urged to file a lawsuit against the gun industry.
That’s especially likely considering this bit:
“This horrific assault did not occur, could not occur, and would not have occurred with a conventional handgun, rifle, or shotgun, of the sort used by law-abiding responsible gun owners for hunting or self-defense,” the complaint — which seeks class-action status — reportedly reads.
That’s something. Except it wouldn’t take much to show that it’s complete bovine feces. In fact, I’ve shown multiple ways that the exact same event could have been carried out without the use of a bump-fire stock.
But doesn’t the gun industry have some kind of protection? Yes. Yes, it does. However, the Brady Bunch figures they have a way to go around the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
“PLCAA covers firearms and ammunition,” Avery W. Gardiner, co-president of the gun control group, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, that is representing the plaintiffs with the Las Vegas law firm Eglet Prince, told Bloomberg.
“A bump stock is not a firearm and it is not ammunition. It does not qualify for immunity,” Gardiner continued. “I would be surprised if the defendants didn’t try to make a PLCAA argument, but they will not win.”
I’m not so sure.
The fact of the matter is the PLCAA was put in place primarily because of how plaintiffs were viewing the industry differently than any other industry. In Europe, terrorists have taken to using trucks for terrorist attacks, yet no one is talking about suing Mercedes-Benz. However, here we have people yet again trying to sue the producers of a lawful product for the intentional misuse of that product.
Even if it Slide Fire isn’t covered by the PLCAA, that doesn’t mean the Brady Bunch’s crowd will, and despite their confidence, it’s not a slam dunk.
Over at The Firearms Blog, this topic came up in relation to Gunbroker. One of their writers is attorney James Reeves who noted:
The PLCAA protects ‘manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations’ for liability arising from the unlawful misuse of ‘firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.’ So, contrary to Gunbroker’s opinion, while the PLCAA may protect bumpfire stocks, private sellers might be more concerned about falling within the protected class of ‘manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers’ than whether or not the PLCAA protects the stock itself.
In other words, it’s a gray area at worst. The Brady Center doesn’t care, however, for one simple reason. They won’t lose a thing.
That’s the dark side that keeps being missed in these tragedies. While the gun industry is painted as the bad guys, groups like the Brady Center swoop in to convince grieving families and traumatized victims that they can make the industry responsible pay. They prey on the vulnerable in a way we’d outlaw if it came from anyone else, and when it fails, what happens to them? Nothing.
Instead, it’s the families and victims that are left holding the bag.
Meanwhile, the Brady Bunch will simply diddy-bop on to the next tragedy to try and capitalize while accomplishing nothing.