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Yesterday Judge Barbara Bellis struck down a lawsuit filed against the makers of Bushmaster rifles by attorney Josh Koskoff representing some of the families of the victims of Adam Lanza’s attack at the Sand Hook School in Newtown Connecticut. This despite a longstanding law specifically prohibiting such lawsuits.

As cnn.com reports,

The families had sought an exemption through a claim of “negligent entrustment,” arguing the maker knowingly marketed and sold the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to civilians despite knowing it posed a risk when used outside “highly regulated institutions” such as law enforcement or the military. Remington is the parent company of Bushmaster.

As expected, Judge Bellis cited the PLCAA, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in her dismissal, a law designed to protect gun manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of lawful products that operate as they are designed to. The intent of the PLCAA was to expressly to prevent just this sort of lawsuit, so as to ensure that citizens shall have access to such firearms.

As the law is described by cornell.edu:

(b) The purposes of this chapter are as follows:

(1) To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended.

(2) To preserve a citizen’s access to a supply of firearms and ammunition for all lawful purposes, including hunting, self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational shooting.

(3) To guarantee a citizen’s rights, privileges, and immunities, as applied to the States, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, pursuant to section 5 of that Amendment.

(4) To prevent the use of such lawsuits to impose unreasonable burdens on interstate and foreign commerce.

(5) To protect the right, under the First Amendment to the Constitution, of manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and trade associations, to speak freely, to assemble peaceably, and to petition the Government for a redress of their grievances.

(6) To preserve and protect the Separation of Powers doctrine and important principles of federalism, State sovereignty and comity between sister States.

(7) To exercise congressional power under article IV, section 1 (the Full Faith and Credit Clause) of the United States Constitution.

After the ruling Josh Koskoff was quoted as saying he intends to appeal the decision.

“While the families are obviously disappointed with the judge’s decision, this is not the end of the fight. We will appeal this decision immediately and continue our work to help prevent the next Sandy Hook from happening.”

The lawsuit may put dollars in Koskoff’s pockets and increase his notariety, but whatever the outcome, it’s unlikely to do anything to prevent any future crimes. As constitutional scholar and UCLA law school professor Adam Winkler recently noted, “assault weapons” bans are don’t accomplish what their proponents claim they do.

It may seem like a victory for the forces of good to ban assault weapons, but such laws aren’t the answer. Assault weapon bans are bad policy and bad politics.

An eventual appeal would continue to pile up attorney’s fees and court costs. Under the PLCAA, however, unsuccessful plaintiffs are liable for court costs and legal fees of the defendants. That’s something those who pursued a similar action after the Aurora cinema shooting discovered the hard way.

These are precisely the types of emotional, abusive actions that the PLAA was designed to prevent. With the law clear and the Sandy Hook suit dismissed, the chances of a successful appeal appear to be vanishingly small.  And the plaintiffs are likely to wind up on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs and lawyers fees.

I hope Josh Koskoff has informed his clients of their legal and financial risk.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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118 Responses to Judge Dismisses Suit Against Sandy Hook Gun Maker

    • OK, I’ll bite…. What information are you using to come to the conclusion that Sandyhook was some kind of hoax? I know there is still some stuff that contradicts some other stuff, but I don’t see the, pardon the pun, smoking gun of a government cover up. Tell me what I’m missing…

    • Really? Can you really ask (type) that with a straight face? What alternative universe do you live in? Are you really that mentally challenged? I pity you…

      • OMG people. An entire town planned years ahead of time to pull off this hoax, like Boston was a hoax and 911 a CIA plot.

        I’ve got news for you, Oswald killed JFK. Really, he did.

        Here is what I really came to post, those that loose the lawsuit should pay the defendants legal expenses and that will put a bunch of this crap together an end.

        • Just so you know, laws allowing recovery of court and attorney fees are a brake both on frivolous and legitimate litigation. Would you pursue a righteous case against a mega-dollar corporation if you know they will bill-out millions in fees and costs, all falling to you if you lose? Most people do not have huge funding sponsors to bring cases against large entities. The sword has two serrated edges. Be careful.

    • I have a feeling that the only way Arthur would ever believe it true was if he was there himself and saw it. If you have evidence – by all means present it, but please spare us the tin foil hat nonsense.

      • Any event, anywhere in the world, any time of day or night, that isn’t captured on a camera vetted by at least three reputable, disinterested sources, did not happen; period.

        That means just about all of your life is an imagination.

    • Would not be surprised if that was the case…..
      And…. If it WAS the case; I hope Remington drops a huge attorney’s fee bill in Bloomie’s lap….

      • Yeah, somehow Remington’s attorneys up their fees to $10k/hr haha. Bloomie may be panhandling by the end of this.

        • Except he isn’t a plaintiff in the suit, so he’s not liable for the costs of the defendants if the suit fails. Unless the plaintiffs have a signed, well documented agreement with him, Bloomberg can just walk away from the costs if they get too high … or simply because he decides the financial lurch this leaves the plaintiffs in, presents better optics than him being the man behind the curtain. E.g. trying to play the double-victim card like the Aurora plaintiffs did.

          Always presuming he offered to back the suit in the first place, which I have no evidence of.

      • The problem is, Bloombag has money coming out his ass. Attorney bills are chump-change. Here’s the point, he’s keeping the anti-gun theme on the front burner. That’s the point of it all. He can’t, won’t allow the “tragedies” to be forgotten and allow a pro-gun agenda more traction than than they can help. That’s been the point all along. Get what they can, everywhere, every time. Keep it on the font burner, don’t let it be forgotten….because it would be forgotten. People have short memories.
        Personally, I can’t wait for the day his helicopter crashes into the the river and they pull his drowned ass up three hours later.
        If it happens, I will only say: good riddance!

  1. I am tired of the pharmaceutical industry getting a pass on violent behavior due to drug use/abuse/adverse reaction. There is a metric ton of evidence linking violent behavior to Ritalin, Adderall, and etc. ADD/ADHD drug use/abuse/adverse reactions. Why aren’t we talking about that? When are we going to start talking about that?

  2. It’s good to see that there are still some judges out there who prefer to follow the law although they are admittedly a vanishing breed.

  3. This seems like a perfect case for the clients to go after the lawyer for malpractice. His advice to sue Bushmaster was ridiculous from the beginning, and it’s clear he’s not after his clients’ best interests in encouraging them to sue, and continuing to encourage them to appeal.

    Also, this article really needs a proofreader to take a run at it. With just a quick read, I spotted three or four typographical, grammatical, and spelling errors right off the bat.

  4. There is a long road ahead if they want to appeal: Connecticut has its own Appellate Court and its own Supreme Court, so that is two steps within the state; and the plaintiffs might then face the further attorneys’ fees and court costs of the applicable US Circuit Court of Appeals, and then the US Supreme Court if the plaintiffs can afford to take it that far (and if the SCOTUS will hear the case).

    • I’m no lawyer but might that have been the intent all along? By the time this hits the Supreme Court HRC will have already put in place one or more SC Judge favorable to “the cause” and possibly successfully repealed or nullified through executive action the PLCAA. If not repealed then the constitutionality of PLCAA could be argued and nullified through SC decision. That would pave the way for this attorney to make big bank.

  5. I am so tired of this. If you can’t sue automobile manufacturers when their products are used in a crime, or knife manufacturers, or for that matter phone companies, etc., etc., then why would you be able to sue gun makers. I pray for the day when people wake up, stop blaming inanimate objects for the evil that men do. This is just more proof of how far we have stepped away from reality and personal responsibility in this shitty, sad country.

    • “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.”

      Oh lawyers understand english just fine. 😉

  6. On the down side, this just makes the PLCAA a bigger target for the antis to try to repeal.

    I think we would be better served if it were replaced by a general-purpose law that offers the same protection to all industries. Of course those other industries haven’t really needed it so far, with a few exceptions.

    • Quite so. Hillary will have a much easier time drumming up support against laws protecting the gun lobby when she shows what they did to the families of the murdered Newtown children in court. The ignorant masses won’t forgive any representatives that don’t support her proposals after that.

  7. “I hope Josh Koskoff has informed his clients of their legal and financial risk.”

    I hope he didn’t, because that would be malpractice and Koskoff would get what’s coming to him.

  8. Ha haw! While I believe Sandy Hook was real it boggles my mind how a crazy sh#t who murdered his ma somehow makes Bushmaster liable😧

      • The issue is getting judges to recognize that the gun manufacturer knowingly made easily available for purchase (and thus misuse) a product/tool that is so deadly in the wrong hands, that the manufacturer should have known that someone would buy that gun and use it to commit illegal acts because having in hand “a weapon of war” is so tempting that it is criminal to allow an untrained, non-professional warrior to obtain it. I would argue that the manufacturer knew without doubt (due to the number of glorified reports of mass killings with military-style rifles) that such a gun would attract many unstable people who were obsessed with “being like the army”, being invincible warriors, that one or more of those warped minds would one day result in killings such as Newtown. Same would hold for the Aloha Snackbar crowd. With acquisition of “weapons of war” being so easy (legally or illegally), no gun manufacturer can claim to not know that their guns would be used to murder dozens in acts of terror.

        Remember, judges are people. They read, they watch, they feel.

        • Not sure how you can make that argument without viable statistics that prove that this type and brand of firearms is that much more prone to misuse by crazies than other types of firearms, such as handguns, which you are very unlikely to be able to do. The reality is that rifles of any type are very unlikely to be used to commit murder, and modern sporting rifles, like the above mentioned Bushmaster constitute only a proportion of the rifles so used. Believing them to be dangerous, or that they might be attractive to crazed mass murderers is insufficient. You would have to prove that they, indeed, are more attractive to this segment of the population, which you won’t be able to do – since most gun homicides are committed with handguns, not black composit modern sporting rifles and carbines (aka “assault weapons”).

        • First thing the palintiffs must do is “prove” the trial judge made an error in the application of the law. Can’t appeal a decision just because you want a second opinion. If they can prove that, maybe the case ends, maybe it goes back for review. If they prevail, they then must contend with defendant appeals, and so on.

          As to the general argument about “assault rifles”, plaintiff does not need to prove that this particular model, from this particular manufacturer is “prone” to anything. Courts are sympathetic to categories. Thus, any “civilian version” of a military rifle (M4, M-16, AK-47) made by any manufacturer is in all important aspects the same as any other of the same category; “assault rifles”. Theory being that anyone who manufactures and sells to non-police/military, is prima facie knows, OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, that military style weapons in the hands of amateurs is too dangerous a combination to be allowed without bearing responsibility for poor handling by someone not competent to operate same. Since Bushmaster makes and sells rifles of a known and obviously dangerous type, Bushmaster must take responsibility (as would all manufacturers of category) for easily foreseeable consequences. The number of “assault rifles” sold and possessed that do/did not result in mass shootings is not the issue. The issue is that the danger was easily conceivable/predictable, and the manufacturer was grossly negligent in persisting to make and market such. Were the legal protection not available, Bushmaster (and all the others) would never sell these weapons to “civilians”.

          The gain will be not only that Bushmaster is penalized, but that the immunity legislation is declared void.

        • The logical progression of that argument means that eventually, all guns will be used by whack-jobs to murder large groups of people.

          Even single-shot bolt action guns are capable of killing dozens in a crowded area. A crowded area like a mall, or a school.

          Looks like we better ban all guns, then…

        • In this thread, not taking any position on ban/not ban. Merely discussing how events could unfold. There are also other scenarios that could be discussed, while having no opinion on which outcome is preferred.

        • The left has already decided that all guns are bad.

          “Were the legal protection not available, Bushmaster (and all the others) would never sell these weapons to “civilians”.

          The gain will be not only that Bushmaster is penalized, but that the immunity legislation is declared void.”

          Voiding legal immunity means *all* manufacturers of guns will be held liable for their misuse….

        • Yes. That is the point of the litigation. Circumscribe in every way the ability to obtain and maintain a condition where guns are permitted, but use is impossible, or so expensive that the “right” to have them effectively pertains only to the very rich and famous.

          The will never quit.

        • @Sam – As i said above. Merely claiming the inherent danger is insufficient. Millions of these “assault weapons” (not “assaults rifles”, which are, by international treaty and US regulations, select fire rifles and carbines shooting intermediate sized cartridges, which are already heavily regulated under the NFA, et seq as Machine Guns) are in private hands, and are very rarely used to commit murders of any type. Claiming that they are uniquely dangerous, without any proof, which is what you appear to be doing, isn’t going to be persuasive in a court of law. But, of course, if you can ban modern sporting rifles like the Bushmaster, on mere fright, and not statistics, what about firearms that are really utilized to kill a lot of people every year, like a lot of handgun types?

        • First, I am not claiming anything; presenting potential scenarios, lines of procedure.

          Handguns do not pose the same “risk” as semi-auto rifles with 20-30rd magazines. You don’t read about 20-30 people killed with a single handgun. And especially don’t see reporting about 20 first-graders killed by a single handgun. So the argument would be that high-capacity rifles are more inherently dangerous. The number of murders each year by use of these “scary rifles” is irrelevant. Better yet, precisely how many mass (more than 10 people by a single person?) killings should society tolerate? The issue is not handguns, or rifles, it is “weapons of war” knowingly made available to an untold number of potential “crazies”.

        • The people have a right to possess basic weapons of war per the right to keep and bear arms, but further more, almost all guns are weapons of war or functionally-identical to them. The .45 caliber handgun and the 9mm handgun are both extremely common handguns owned by civilians, and yet are both military handguns. The 12 gauge shotgun is an extremely common weapon owned by civilians and has been used by the military in every conflict going back to World War I. They were nicknamed as the “trench broom” by the Germans who wanted U.S. soldiers captured using them to be tried for war crimes. Bolt-action hunting rifles are sniper rifles. The military uses a version of the Remington 700 hunting rifle as a sniper rifle via the M24 and M40. AR-15s are just semiautomatic rifles. They are no more dangerous than the variety of handguns and other semiautomatic rifles out there.

          Claiming that they are “so dangerous” than a manufacturer should have known better as such a weapon would attract crazies I think fails for a few reasons:

          1) AR-15s have been on the market for civilians since 1964 and only very recently have they started attracting crazies

          2) Handguns have been used very successfully for mass shootings, for example the Luby’s massacre and Virginia Tech.

          3) What exactly makes an AR-15 so super dangerous? What does the phrase “military-style” even mean? That’s an arbitrary term based ultimately on nothing. It derives from the original “Evil Features” term that was used in the 1990s federal assault weapons ban, and then they changed it to the more serious-sounding “military-style” features due to the ridiculousness of the original phrase. Of course, then that gets into exactly ***HOW*** these different features are actually military in nature, the fact that people have a right to possess military weapons (and hence weapons with military features), the sheer arbitrariness of what constitutes a military-style feature, and exactly how any of these features make the weapon more deadly. For example, HOW does an adjustable stock make the weapon more deadly? HOW does a pistol grip make it more deadly? HOW does a bayonet lug make it more deadly? How would the lack of any of these features on the rifle have stopped Adam Lanza?

        • Military-style weapons are simply weapons sold to the public that for all practical purposes are identical to the weapons in use by the military, currently or at some time in the past. The Ruger Mini-14 is an example. All the AR-15 class, would be included. The only difference is either size, or lack of full-auto capability. Indeed, many militaries issue only semi-auto rifles. A Garand is a military/military-style weapon. May be obsolete, but military none the less. The “scary black rifles” of today look, and have 90% of the function of current issue rifles used by the US. But all that is the long way around.

          The issue at court is not how many variants of semi-auto rifles are in use, but the single category of “assault rifles” (you can crab all day, but in the real vernacular, “assault rifle” is a term in common usage that the general public relates to “weapons of war”. (we are not dealing with your/our description of black rifles, but the public understanding). Black rifles mimicking actual battle rifles are the target of litigation attempting to remove commercial protections from liability for criminal acts of third parties. If the courts are persuaded that every mass killing with a long gun involved a black rifle, the category dies. If black guns are stripped of litigation, then the question becomes why only one category of weapon? Hey, over here we have the category of gun (handgun) used in 95% of non-police shootings. They are too attractive for use in a heated situation, and the favorite of criminals everywhere. Gun manufacturers know of the statistics of killings in major cities, yet the are allowed to escape any liability for facilitating those deaths. Manufacturers should be responsible for guns (GLOCKS?) that are cheap, and loaded with up to 30 rounds. Simple six-shot (single shot is better) revolvers effectively function as a personal defense weapon, and are so difficult to reload that they are useless for anyone attempting to shoot-up a school, or night club.

          But for the moment, before the courts, discussion of all the various types of guns, frequency of criminal use, RTKBA, and any other jazz pro-gun advocates trot-out are irrelevant to the “scary black rifle” cases. Why? Because the basic theory of that approach is, “the killer could have used any other sort of gun for the same purpose”. That is not a legal theory, nor evidence. It is folly to hope that if people shout loudly enough and point to all the killings, with every type weapon, that a specific weapon cannot then be singled-out as too commonly used, and used by people who are not trained to properly handle (don’t kill anyone but the enemy) them. Judges would rule such claims as “irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial”; off point. That is why Bushmaster did not make such argument. They relied on the plain wording of the law. Once the plain wording is breached (by courts), you are back to Humpty Dumpty regarding meanings; and pro-gun people lose.

        • What does being a legal theory have anything to do with it though? It’s a solid point. If the killer could have used many a different type of weapon, than where does trying to go after the maker of an AR-15 make any sense? That gets back to trying to claim that the AR-15 is a more lethal type of weapon. Regarding handguns, I forget where I read it, but that most handguns used by criminals are about six shots or less. The average criminal is not using a 19 shot handgun 9mm for example.

        • Legal theory? Courts require arguments based on points of law. Drawing analogies from totally unrelated (all weapons vs. “black rifles”) instances. Arguing law and arguing “rights” on a blog are terribly different. If dragging in all weapons or products that can produce death would have worked, the lawyers for Bushmaster would have used that reasoning. Those lawyers miss-filed their request for dismissal and had to go back and use the “proper” protocol, despite the simple defense legal theory that the immunity law prohibited the suit being brought. They wisely never opened the door to comparisons of deadliness. In this reality/lifetime, you will never see any court ruling that the second amendment means zero restrictions, no how, no how, nowhere.

        • Not saying there are no restrictions, but that the restrictions are far more limited than the anti-gun types like to claim, just like free speech and privacy. The legal theory argument to me sounds like a cop-out. If you replaced firearms with speech in this case, it would have been thrown out long ago. While it is wise I agree not to start up an argument about comparisons of deadliness right now, it is nonetheless an important point when it comes to the subject of what authority the government has to ban. The government arbitrarily defines and essentially made up the term “military-style” weapons, which thus puts it on pretty weak ground for being able to ban them. It would be like the government just arbitrarily making up a “Assault Speech” law and banning any and all speech, including political speech, that they decided to define as “assault speech.” As for the idea that the lawyers would have used it if it would have worked, who knows. That depends on the intelligence and knowledge of the lawyers about guns and the Second Amendment as well. They may not themselves even be very aware of such arguments.

        • There are two matters at hand in this thread, but let me address “made-up” terms:
          Hate Speech. Very real legal implications. Infringement of first amendment. So one cannot compare having restrictions on 2A, with requiring similar restrictions on 1A; 1A is already restricted.

          The actual case in point was not an attempt by plaintiffs to overturn PLCAA. They attempted to demonstrate that the exception clause pertained to the shooting at New Town. The hope was likely that a win would be a springboard into banning an entire category of guns, using laws and tactics similar to that which cowed the cigarette industry (which actually turned on the fact the producers had internal research about risks, and squelched that data. Subsequent chatter on this thread revolved around arguments to attempt to ban guns, in general. What was missing was an understanding that law is not always about “right and wrong”, “moral or immoral”. Courts generally don’t take into account societal impacts of rulings. For instance, the SC did not consider the possibility that a president might use executive orders/actions to end-run Citizens United, or what that action might mean at large. In Heller, the SC did not consider rebellion in lower courts (which is underway). Even Brown v. Board did not make provisions to avoid the roiling of the public; SC simply applied “Equal Protection” of the law. Trying to win a case by pointing to all the speculative outcomes is not “evidence”, nor is it competent testimony. By drawing the lines very carefully, setting out very restrictive circumstances, one can limit the responses available to the respondent/defendant. Pro-gun want to look at gun rights on the whole, all the time. Anti-gun groups are content to chip away, relentlessly. Pro-gun people seem to have an attention span of a few months, and want all matters of principle to be settled once-and-for-all, right now. Anti-gun groups are always on the attack (they only defend against counter-attacks). Pro-gun groups engage in limited fire-fights, separated from each other by purity tests.

      • Speech does not have any restrictions akin to an assault weapons ban, so I don’t think the argument that “speech is already restricted” works, because it clearly isn’t in that sense. And it isn’t a matter of getting into all sorts of tangents. It is a matter of pointing out how baseless a term is, and thus the lack of any grounding in law to ban something that is made up to begin with.

        Technically, such a law shouldn’t even have to exist in the first place to rule against such a claim.

        • If a government (federal, state, local) enacts a law restricting whatever, the basis of that law is the election of those people who enacted the law. Same for all laws, whether a particular segment of the population agrees or not. Those laws are valid until ruled otherwise by the courts. Declaring that laws one objects to therefore have no “authority” is, well, lawlessness.

          As to restrictions on “free speech”, let’s take a look at “free speech” that will get you a harmful governmental response:
          – Hate Speech (anybody want to consider what all that covers?)
          – Falsely, falsely shouting “Fire” in a crowded venue
          – Refusing to call someone by their preferred pronoun
          – Taunting someone to violence, then shooting them “in self-defense”
          – Military Chaplin explaining the teachings of their religion, when it makes the hearer feel “intimidated”, “unwelcomed”, “threatened”
          Just to name a few immediately

          Wait until you are no longer allowed to mention the words “gun” or “firearm” or “pistol” in public because those words frighten someone.

          And again, one cannot introduce testimony irrelevant to the case before the court. Pointing to the alleged “free speech” clause of the constitution as grounds to overturn any and all restrictions of firearms is pointless.

          Just as the death penalty is on the cusp of being ruled “cruel and unusual” because it is so rare in the US, as to be literally “unusual”, the overt need for personal firearms, because we are so far from frontier and wild west eras, is “unusual”. No matter how many guns are in existence in the US, not matter how many carry licenses, in this society, the public presence and use by “civilians” is so rare as to meet the standard of “unusual”; personal firearms as a concept is outdated and outmoded. The ace-card will be to declare that everyone has a right to “usual” firearms, but using them outside of the home for any purpose other than if called to be part of an organized militia is blatantly beyond the second amendment. Everyone here seems to believe that the only way to neuter RTKBA is an out and out forceful assault on gun owners (SWAT raids). It will not, will not be done in a manner so obvious as to turn “the people” against gun confiscation. Neutering will be done by making ownership and use so difficult and expensive that gun owners are penned-up in their homes, hoping for some criminal to break-in so the gun owner can finally use their self-defense weapon…inside the four walls. Your enemies play a game of misdirection, and while gun owners are focused on armed rebellion/resistance, they become the boiled frog.

        • If a government (federal, state, local) enacts a law restricting whatever, the basis of that law is the election of those people who enacted the law. Same for all laws, whether a particular segment of the population agrees or not. Those laws are valid until ruled otherwise by the courts. Declaring that laws one objects to therefore have no “authority” is, well, lawlessness.

          Close. Certain laws can be such egregious infringements on rights that people have a right, even a duty, to disobey them. But you’re missing the point. Yes, a law’s basis is the people who enacted the law. And if people disagree, they take it to the courts. And the job of the courts is to then look at the basis of the law beyond the people who enacted it, to see if their reasoning for the law is in line with the government’s authority and the Constitution. If the law clearly is not, then it is the court’s job to toss it. In the case of so-called “assault weapons,” there is no logical argument that can be made for their banning or how the government has the authority at any level to ban them.

          As to restrictions on “free speech”, let’s take a look at “free speech” that will get you a harmful governmental response:
          – Hate Speech (anybody want to consider what all that covers?)

          Hate speech laws in this country are incredibly limited given that Nazis can hold protest marches.

          – Falsely, falsely shouting “Fire” in a crowded venue

          That isn’t free speech. That would be akin to opening fire in a crowded theater. We don’t tape your mouth shut when you go into a crowded venue however on the off-chance that you might shout fire.

          – Refusing to call someone by their preferred pronoun

          How does that engender a forceful government response?

          – Taunting someone to violence, then shooting them “in self-defense”

          Again, that is very limited. If you want to mock Muslims and they attack you and you shoot them in self-defense, the blame is on them, not you.

        • You haven’t been paying attention to the social justice movement. Not all restrictions on rights are done at the federal level. Government and government agencies exist at all levels.

          Yes, go ahead and refuse to comply with any law or regulation that offends you. However, you forfeit the moral right to complain about the consequences.

        • Yes, go ahead and refuse to comply with any law or regulation that offends you. However, you forfeit the moral right to complain about the consequences.

          I wouldn’t say one forfeits any moral right when talking about infringements on rights. However one should only violate such laws with the understanding that there is legal risk involved. One most definitely doesn’t forfeit any moral right when the infringement on the right is very egregious.

          Just curious, but where is the law that “taunting” someone (via speech, not actions)into attacking you and then acting in self-defense is illegal?

        • Well, it’s late, but “pushing” someone into becoming the aggressor makes you the “instigator”. Self-defense law around the country would deny you the affirmative defense of “self-defense” in a fight you started. By “taunting” I am not considering the end zone crap we see on NFL television. Talking about relentless, aggressive, abusive language; even chest-thumping, or waving a gun around to intimidate.

          A coupla examples:

          – “You cannot claim self-defense if you are the aggressor. You also cannot overreact, or act unreasonably, in defending yourself.” https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/self-defense

          – “The other scenario occurs when the defendant initially provokes the use of force. If the defendant starts a fight (as from “taunting”..my edit) and the other person moves to strike the defendant, the defendant is not authorized to use a self defense argument …”
          http://www.jacksonvillecriminallawyerblog.com/2011/11/self_defense_is_not_always_a_v.html

          – “…fighting words doctrine” — defining them as words that “by their utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”
          http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/fighting-words-case-still-making-waves-on-70th-anniversary

          – “Fighting words are words intentionally directed toward another person which are so venomous and full of malice as to cause the hearer to suffer emotional distress or incite him/her to immediately retaliate physically.”
          http://definitions.uslegal.com/f/fighting-words/

          – “The other difficult area of unprotected speech is “fighting words.” In 1942, in the case of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man for giving a speech denouncing all religions as a racket and referring to one listener as “a God damned racketeer and a Fascist.” The Court found no constitutional protection for “fighting words,” defined as “those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” ”
          http://home.ubalt.edu/shapiro/rights_course/Chapter4text.htm

    • I’m hoping most people don’t scroll this far. You do understand that the clients had their children murdered? Wishing they would get shot as well seems a little harsh, even for the level of stupidity of their lawsuit.

      • Agreed, any murder of the innocent is horrible.

        The horrible thing that happened to them does not make it right to take away my rights or ability to defend my family.

      • I agree – suggesting that they be shot went too far. And, yes, they are hurting. But their hurt potentially endangers the lives of millions. This sort of firearm is very rarely used for murder because they are so hard to conceal, but instead tend to be far, far more often used for self defense, where concealment is not as important, or protection against wildlife such as feral pigs, etc.

        You seem to be buying into the leftist view of absolute moral authority based on victimhood. My view though that they lose that moral authority when they attempt to endanger others through expression of their hurt and loss. Which is what is going on here.

  9. This will make me seem cold hearted, but I feel the industry needs to stop giving a pass to the plaintiffs. The people who allow themselves to be manipulated by dishonest attorneys and the gun banners need to pay a financial price so others will not follow them down that path. The people who fund this kind of legal attack will walk away from the bills every time. They are cold blooded bottom feeders who use the legal system as a way to further victimize the survivors of gun free zone violence for political theater.

  10. So, Josh Koskoff broke the law by filing an illegal lawsuit. He should be arrested, charged, and jailed for breaking the law.

    • The suit isn’t criminal, the plaintiffs just don’t have a case, and therefore it was dismissed. This kind of thing happens all the time. Somebody thinks they’ve been wronged, and sue the party they think responsible. The court looks at it and says, for some reason, there’s no case, and dismisses.

  11. The appeal will come when the SC is fully absorbed into the Demoncrat Party.

    And no, Breyer will not recuse. He already dissented, so admitting on TV he is anti-2A is not a disqualifier.

    • Don’t be so sure that even a Clinton court would go down this route. They know that they would be opening the floodgates against any industry where the misuse of their products results in death and serious injury. And don’t think this wouldn’t happen because the greenies have already tried this. A decision to allow third party use to sue the original manufactures would lead to shut down most of the economy. That is how trial lawyers operate. They use a pre-existing precedent to justify legal assaults on other targets.

      • In the world of liability, guns represent an “unprecedented” threat/risk to public safety. Guns have a specific law limiting liability for misuse of a legal product. All other products are protected under the general product liability laws and Uniform Commercial Code. Guns are the only legal product requiring special legislation. Thus, the argument can be made that since all other products are already covered by limited liability laws, removing protections from gun manufacture cannot be used as support for eliminating (piercing) the protection of all other products.

        • It can be argued but that argument becomes much weaker aa it can demonstrated that automobiles and drugs represent an unprecedented risk, particularly since the misuse of both items takes at least as many lives as guns. Once that door is opened then trial lawyers will use that argument to go after other industries — that 350 hp Dodge was cause of the drunk’s lethal accident don’t you know? Don’t you think that gun industries lawyers will make that argument? Trial lawyers leverage precedents.

        • The gun lawyers will undoubtedly point out the speculation that every product would be loosed from legal protections. However, judges will evaluate that speculation as speculation, not germane to the issue of whether guns are more a public hazard because than a food blender, or plastic laundry bag. I would expect the judges to pose guns against autos and such as a comparison between needs of society. People need transportation, tools, clothes, foods, shelter. Held up against the number of people who use all the other products, and all the actual uses of those products daily, it will be difficult to persuade that the few successful uses of a gun by private individuals is so minimal as opposed to the successful uses of every other product, “need” would be recognized as quite frivolous for the positive effect. Pointing out that no other constitutional right is subject to a “needs” test will probably be countered with the argument that no other “right” poses such an immediately devastating outcome when misused by an irresponsible individual.

          But with a kangaroo SC, law and logic will not be persuasive.

        • Since we are both speculating, a trial lawyer will counter by pointing that having vehicle 350 HP that can exceed 160mph is not necessary for meeting anyone’s transportation needs especially when maximum speed limits are no more than 80 mph. The lawsuit will be allowed to proceed on those grounds alone.

        • With all the law degrees out there looking for opportunity, that argument has been tried and failed. Indeed, many arguments like that were posed when product liability laws were being hammered-out. But, hey, shop for the right judge, and amazing things can happen.

        • If the lawyers get into statistics, they could argue that guns represent a very tiny threat to society and that the claim that they represent some unprecedented risk to public safety is nonsense. Two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, and we know that suicides are not due to guns because other Westernized countries have similar suicide rates, and a few even higher suicide rates. Of the other third that are homicides, up to 80% of those are due to inner-city gang violence. So only about 3,000 gun homicides could actually be attributed to guns, and even with those, we don’t know for sure.

        • All of which is true, but off-point. Question: Are “scary black rifles” (assault weapons) used in mass killings of 10 or more people? Yes. Are “scary black rifles” (assault weapons) used more often than any other weapon in mass killings of 10 or more people? Yes. Are “scary black rifles” (assault weapons) generally made to use detachable magazines of thirty or more rounds? Yes. By what ratio are these weapons used in mass killings of 10 or more people compared to all other weapons? (don’t have that figure at hand, but the question is predictable). Are “scary black rifles” (assault weapons) more attractive to people with mental health issues who wish to punish society, or bullies, or authorities? (probably?). Are “scary black rifles” (assault weapons) relatively cheap, and within the financial capability of most people? Yes. Can “scary black rifles” (assault weapons) be altered to make semi-automatic firing rate approach that of a fully automated version of the same weapon? Yes (bump fire).

          And so on.

        • It’s not off-point at all. If one is asking are so-called “assault weapons” a major threat to public safety, those statistics count. One could argue that the handguns are a far greater “threat” to public safety by the use of statistics.

        • Arguing the law in court is always a matter of what is permissible as testimony, even evidence.

          As I noted, once “scary black guns” are determined too dangerous to be sold to the public with zero liability to the manufacturer, the next case will use the victory over “scary black rifles” to support argument for near-banning of the ownership and use of handguns; handguns causing even more death and destruction than “assault weapons”.

          Being morally correct (except when you politics are those of the majority of voters) holds no efficacy in court. You must be correct under the law. “Right don’t make might”.

        • We are right in terms of the law though. In order to determine scary black rifles as too dangerous to be sold to the public, there must be something about them shown to be extra dangerous. Otherwise, the government has no authority to ban them. And especially when it makes up and defines the terms like “assault weapon.”

  12. ” Under the PLCAA, however, unsuccessful plaintiffs are liable for court costs and legal fees of the defendants…”

    This is the information I clicked to see. Good. I no longer have sympathy for victims who try to use the legal system as a cudgel against people who didn’t victimize them.

    • If the plaintiff attorney is any good, he/she/they will file a motion to stay payment of fees until all appeals are exhausted. drain the respondent coffers until then.

      Of course, defendants could offer to waive fees in return for signed agreement to not pursue appeals.

      • Why should they? Much better to make the purveyors of this sort of nonsense bleed like stuck pigs paying attorneys’ fees for legally frivolous cases like this.

        • “Why should they? Much better to make the purveyors of this sort of nonsense bleed like stuck pigs paying attorneys’ fees for legally frivolous cases like this.”

          If plaintiff loses, and fees are assessed for losing, plaintiff costs go up beyond their own-generated costs for pursuing. With the benefit that respondent/defendant must pay more costs and fees immediate to appeal, with reimbursement for victory delayed indefinitely.

          For the defendant, appeals can go either way, with complete reversal a possibility. Offering the plaintiff cash now (no defendant fees paid) against the promise of the plaintiff to end the case is a good way to avoid the crap shoot as the appeals go on for years (if not generations). Besides, while the plaintiff appeals, uncertainty reigns in the marketplace, and in stock values.

        • @Sam – and if I were the defendant’s attorney, i would ask for a bond for the already incurred medical expenses. My argument would be that the plaintiffs already probably can’t pay the amount of fees and costs that they have already incurred, and doing as you suggest would just increase the amount of fees and costs that they cannot pay, while continuing to engage in the uphill fight of trying to overturn a duly enacted federal law. They weren’t dragged unwillingly into this litigation (they are the plaintiffs), and the statute was there, in black and white, when they filed suit. It is fairly common to have to post appeal bonds for monetary damages, and only seems rational to extend this to the fees and costs required by that statute, if they continue to lose.

        • Yes, a bond would be good insurance that if defendants ultimately prevail, money would be there. The better outcome would be to trade fee waiver in favor of agreement not to appeal. Stops everything in its tracks. (BTW, plaintiffs are not using their own assets; Bloomberg money is behind it). While it might be attractive to visualize (another word for “hope”) ultimate victory for gun manufacturers, if you stop the case, you have certainty of outcome for that case, and precedence for future cases. However, Bloomberg will not likely waive appeals because his funding is on par with that of the gun manufacturers.

  13. I am not sure that is case would have flown without PLCAA. The imications of allowing such suits opens the door for suits against virtually any industry where unlawful use by a third party can cause death and serious injury.

    – Drunk gets in his car and kills someone.
    – As mentioned above properly proscribed medication is stolen and illegal user kills someone or dies himself.
    – Child dies in swimming pool. And pool builder gets sued.

    The list is exceedingly long.

    • “– Drunk gets in his car and kills someone.”

      Exactly. People can, and do, sue gun companies for defective products.

      I want an anti to clearly explain to me how Ford is not criminally liable when a drunk, enraged man hops in his pickup truck and runs over his woman and kills her.

      That is *exactly* what they want to do to gun companies…

    • You’re using logic. That’s cool, but it’s not logical to assume that a trial court will use logic when scary black guns are involved.

      Frankly, I was worried even with black & white caselaw.

  14. “continue our work to help prevent the next Sandy Hook from happening.”

    So your working for mental Heath and parental education and liscencing reform?

  15. PLCAA voting.
    Senate Republicans: 50 in favor, 2 opposed.
    Senate Democrats: 14 in favor, 29 opposed.
    House Republicans: 223 in favor, 4 opposed.
    House Democrats: 59 in favor, 140 opposed.
    Signed into law by President Bush (R).

    Yes, there is a difference between the two parties.

  16. Koskoff should be disbarred for leading his clients on an idiotic goose chase with no possible outcome but this.

    • Nope. When attorneys take-on these cases, they fully brief clients that victory lies anywhere along the continuum, most assuredly at the SC. Clients are fully aware that their law suit will be a long, arduous battle. In this particular case, I would advise clients that they needed incredibly deep pockets because the case could not be fully won until it reached the SC. In the instant matter, the “plaintiffs” are really Bloomberg and the anti-gun lobby, which is as well-funded as the NRA and all the pro-gun groups combined.

  17. Meanwhile, with all the legal commentary…

    What about that picture. Body language and non-verbal clues are a thing.

    Third lady from the left with her legs crossed. That’s a bit odd. Her head tilt and facial expression speak volumes.

    Second dude from the left with his head down.

    Head tilts and crossed hands-in-front…

    Yep. These are some defeated people alright.

  18. Hillary will eliminate these various laws protecting the gun industry and allow lawsuits to pile up, just like the tobacco industry. You can still buy cigarettes, but they cost 10x more than before the govt targeted them. Say goodbye to 500.00 Glocks and AR15s. Govt never actually “bans” anything, they just drive the prices up.

    • Tobacco smoke kills almost 500,000 a year. 42,000 die because of second hand smoke. Which could be considered murder if you stretch it. I think that was 2013 data. Vastly different then firearm deaths.

  19. If these “assault rifles” are so extremely deadly then why are less then 250 people killed each year by their use? Going after something that contributes to such a small portion of deaths in this country is so absolutely absurd. There is no data that points to semiauto rifles being more dangerous then other firearms. Only data that refutes it.

  20. The manufacturer entrusts the AR-15 to federally licensed dealers so any claim for negligent entrustment would have to be directed against the retailer.

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