USATODAY.COM March 14, 2018
– By ruling against a gun-maker, the Connecticut Supreme Court appears to have pierced a legal shield that could lead to more lawsuits and damaging disclosures involving the arms industry, gun control advocates say.
The court ruled Thursday that Remington Arms, maker of the semiautomatic rifle that was used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, can be sued because of the way the gun was marketed.
The 4-3 decision came despite protections that Congress granted in a 2005 law that shielded makers from liability when their guns are used in the commission of crimes. In this case, Remington made and marketed the Bushmaster rifle that was used to carry out the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
The lawsuit contends that Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, advertised the gun model, which is based on the military’s AR-15, in ways that glorified it to young people and that the weapon is inherently dangerous.
“The families’ goal has always been to shed light on Remington’s calculated and profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users, all at the expense of Americans’ safety,” attorney Joshua Koskoff said, who represented the plaintiffs. “Today’s decision is a critical step toward achieving that goal.”
Neither a spokesman for Remington nor the National Rifle Association could be reached for comment.
“The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers,” Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority, adding he didn’t believe Congress envisioned complete immunity for gun-makers.
The legal chiefs of two gun control organizations said the ruling is just the start. [Read More]