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This sort of insanity is exactly why the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was passed in 2005 and it’s why lawsuits like this should be immediately rejected. With prejudice. A firearm importer follows the law and legally imports firearms, then legally distributes them to licensed dealers. One of the dealers then legally sells the firearm to a legal purchaser, and now the importer/distributor is being sued because the end buyer illegally used the product?

These sorts of legal attacks are nothing more than attempts to bankrupt firearm manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers and to make it as painful and difficult as possible to go about legally making and selling a legal product. There is NO other industry in the country that is subject to these sorts of unhinged, ridiculous lawsuits.

By way of example, was Ford sued when a madman ran over parade goers last year in his Escape? Is Toyota sued when a drunk driver kills somebody? Or the dealership that sold the car to the future drunk driver or the gas station that sold the gas? Or, for that matter, the company that made whatever alcohol the person got drunk on? No. Of course not. That would be as absurd and farcical as anything can possibly be.

But…they do it to the firearm industry all the darn time. Despite the PLCAA being the law of the land. Ridiculous. The full story from the AP on Century Arms and ROMARM facing a lawsuit from family members of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting victims is below.

From Wilson Ring of the AP:

Family members of some of the people killed or wounded during a 2019 shooting at a California garlic festival are suing the companies that distributed the rifle used in the attack, saying they did not take sufficient care to prevent misuse of the firearm.

Two similar lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Vermont on July 28 allege that manufacturer Century International Arms and Romanian firearm producer ROMARM failed to adopt reasonable safeguards that “enabled a dangerous individual operating in and around California” to legally acquire the firearm in Nevada, take it to California and use it in the attack at the Gilroy Garlic Festival that killed three and wounded 17.

“Defendants knowingly breached the duty to exercise the highest degree of reasonable care in preventing the diversion of firearms to dangerous actors that they had voluntarily assumed when they entered the firearms business,” said the lawsuits, filed on the third anniversary of the shooting.

The suit says Century Arms may have also violated Vermont laws that prohibit large capacity magazines.

Century Arms is based in Delray Beach, Florida, but it has a facility in Georgia, Vermont, where the ROMARM firearms, listed on the company’s website as AK-style rifles, are modified to comply with U.S. law, according to the lawsuit.

Century Arms did not respond to a phone message seeking comment, nor did ROMARM respond to an email.

In most cases, federal law shields gun-makers from liability, but that could be changing.

Earlier this year, the families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting agreed to a $73 million settlement of a lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators in 2012.

In June, in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers, President Joe Biden called on Congress to end “outrageous” protections for gun manufacturers, which severely limit their liability over how their firearms are used, comparing it to the tobacco industry, which has faced repeated litigation over its products’ role in causing cancer and other diseases.

In the aftermath of the garlic festival shooting, Gilroy police said the shooter fired 39 rounds from an AK-47-style rifle.

“A mass shooting like the Attack in which an individual like the Shooter uses a firearm like the Rifle to inflict catastrophic harm on parties like the Plaintiffs is a natural and foreseeable consequence of Defendants’ violations of the relevant standard of care,” according to the lawsuit.

The suits are seeking a jury trial, but they did not specify the damages they are seeking.

 

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55 COMMENTS

  1. What acts are alleged that constitute negligence? Selling to an FFL is and should be enough, especially when the product is sold to a wholesaler and the ultimate retailer is not in contractual privity with the FFL; even then, all it could ask is that the retailer comply with federal and state laws. What evidence is there that the retailer did not comply with Nevada law? Assuming that the retailer ran a background check and held the rifle for 10 days (per California law) and the buyer passed, there is no such evidence.

    It isn’t up to the manufacturer of a nondefective product to police the retail seller. That is the responsibility of the ATF.

    • The killer was living in Nevada and bought the gun in Nevada. As long as the FFL followed Nevada law, there were no illegal sales. The killer decided to take a gun that wasn’t legal in CA into the state. That law will probably be overturned soon. The killer then decided to shoot and kill numerous innocent people. That law won’t be overturned anytime soon. The illegalities were entirely on the killer. If the government had a reason for him to be denied a gun, their background check should have reflected it. The gun dealers aren’t psychic.

      • It’s a frivolous lawsuit and another sneaky form of Gun Control. Since history confirms Gun Control is Rooted in racism and genocide it is to be expected all sorts of other sleaze rides with such a sick agenda. It also shows how Gun Control zealots can walk all over the 2A anytime they want.

        And who is mostly responsible for allowing Gun Control zealots to trample on the 2A? That would be politically inept history illiterate Gun Owning dumbbells who hear the words Gun Control and sit there like bumps on a log instead of standing and defining Gun Control by its History of Rot…Rot that never stops riding along with Gun Control wherever it has been or wherever it goes.

    • These people just want a payday, and are hoping political correctness will carry them there. After all, who is going to say “no” to a family that just lost family members from a horrific shooting? And! These horrible gun manufacturers make… wait for it…. Gunz! Guns! They make things that kill people! Shame on them! Shame! Shame shame shame! now… hand over that money!

  2. Don’t suppose it ever occurred to em to go after the people who allow the scumbags to be among us!? No money in it??

    • Nope Most such dirtbags don’t have any money to get excited about. Chump change, mostly..

      However, I did read that the Uvalde dirtbag “owned” a $70,000 pickup truck and had recently spent some $* or 49 K on guns in the year before his evil deeds were committed…. and he worked some menial near minimum wage job like flipping burgers. SOMEONE should be looking into his personal finances. Something smells like rotten fish.

      Seem to recall a similar “standing” for another recent mass killer. Almost seems as if someone was grooming them for such action by supplying them large quantities of cash “for guns n such”.

  3. I like how this nonsense only goes as far back in the chain as is convenient.

    Nobody would dream of going back to the original assemble or steel supplier or mining company that sold the ore.

    Just like no ody will ever go after the African tribes who sold their captives to whitey.

    • You must mean the certain “actors” who were adherents to “the religion of peace” who actively raided the tribes for warm brown bodies to march to the seaports to load up into slave ships.

      • And then sink those ships, along with the cargo, if they saw a British ship approach.

      • “adherents to “the religion of peace” who actively raided the tribes for warm brown bodies to march to the seaports to load up into slave ships“

        And every single one of those slave ships was owned by American and European members of the religion of the “Prince of Peace”:

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_slave_ships

        The wealthy owners of those slave ships were just following the direct instructions of their ‘Holy Bible’:

        Leviticus 25:44-46
        King James Version

        “44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

        45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

        46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.“

  4. The law firm representing the plaintiffs is called The Scarlett Law Group. They, unsurprisingly, brought the Brady group on board when they expanded the lawsuit beyond the event organizers and the city of Gilroy, as well as the private security company hired for the event.

    If i read things correctly, the angle of attack appears to be very similar to the Newtown suit. The attorney’s argument is that Century’s liability is due to the “irresponsible” way they market the weapon. I watched a video of the lead attorney, and he also tossed in the usual “weapon of war”, “military-grade” talking points. He also made the point that Century not only distributed the weapon (a WASR-10, IIRC), but they – *gasp* – also assembled them. (eyeroll).

    The perp accessed the event by taking a pair of wire cutters to an unguarded chain link fence. Shall we sue the maker of the wire cutters for marketing a dangerous, barrier-breaching device? Makes about as much sense.

  5. What load. What’s next? Suing Home Depot for selling a machete or ax to whoever walks in the door? No background check there.

  6. PLCAA need modification (2023) to stipulate that if plaintiff loses, then their counsel pays the legal expenses of the gun company.

    • in his/their PERSONAL capacity, and also somehow mark his lawyer’s ticket for future reference.

      This scam reminds me of the old, now mostly gone away, bidniss of the “ambulance chasers” that would chase down victims of car crashes. looking for large settlements, typically with a pittance going toward the “plaintiffs” they had hornswoggled into persuing legal action.

  7. The only one that they should be able to sue in court is: THE SHOOTER HIMSELF.
    End of discussion.

  8. I would like to see the families explain just what the manufacturer or the distributor could have reasonably done to ensure that that shooting would not have occurred . There is no time machine to see or go into the future. Bet the festival was a “gun free zone”.

  9. This kind of BS will stop when those deciding to file those lawsuits realize it wasn’t a good idea to do that.

    Now, how to do that? Let your imagination run as free as the wind.

    Bonus bragging points for creativity… 🙂

    • Sue for defamation and resulting loss of business? Honestly don’t know the civil end of the legal system so wild ass guess.

    • Tell Miner and dacian they are Conservative Christian Ultra-MAGA and turn them loose on them, a fate worse than death.

    • “somehow” “some” of those “atrorneys” taking up such cases and up in curcumstances strangely familiar to those of us who have followed the antics of a certain couple from Arkansas.

  10. these people are looking for a settlement from the insurance companies… thanks to the morons that insure Remington…

    • I think you are correct.

      Remington would have won that case, but the cost of continuing the defense to do that would have been wayyyy more. So the insurance companies settled.

  11. Personally, I think it’s about time to start counter-suing these money hungry activists. Even if just for legal fees it would hurt these POS.

    • If they prevail under PLCAA they get their fees. A couple who lost their child in Aurora found that out the hard way when they were hit with a judgment for $250,000 and Brady was nowhere to be found.

      • Imagine THAYATT!! Brady unavailble? Why all that should take is a quick phone call to Gabby the Giffie.

      • “If they prevail under PLCAA they get their fees.”

        Cold comfort when the ones doing the suing have literally *billions* of dollars at their disposal for such fishing expeditions… 🙁

      • Hmm, yeah. I do recall that happening in that one case. Sadly most bigger gun makers just let their insurance eat the cost. I think that’s been a huge mistake over the years.

  12. Auto manufacturers and dealers have been sued for the actions of the owner of a vehicle bought from them. An example I am aware of involved a teenager who worked part time washing cars for a Pontiac dealer. The kid saved up his money and bought a used Firebird from his employer. Sometime later, he wrecked the car at high speed killing one of his passengers. The dead kid’s family sued everybody in sight — the kid, his family, the dealer and General Motors. GM settled rather than fight it out in court.

    I wish GM had defended itself on principle but I understand why settling was the wiser course if only to avoid setting a precedent. Juries are unpredictable. A Texas jury awarded $90 million to a driver who lost control of her pickup on an icy interstate and crossed the median into the path of an eighteen wheeler.

  13. It’s “lawfare” pure and simple. The process is the punishment.

    F these families and their corrupt attorneys.

    FJB

    • Wait until constitutional carry goes nation wide. If these promoters want to make money they’re going to have to welcome gun carriers. Or get out of the business and get a job at walmart.

    • Ironic, for multiple reasons.
      1. I’ve been to Lights All Night every year it’s happened. Never identified less than 5 pusher’s lieutenants with guns in their waistbands. If you think there weren’t already guns there, I have a bridge to sell you.
      2. Conflating lawful concealed carriers with mass shooters is so disingenuous only the most braindead would accept that premise. Then again, with useful idiots like yourself pushing the narrative, it’s much easier.
      Bottom line: if you want to stop mass shootings at the festival, let lawful concealed carriers (who stop hundreds of thousands of crimes a year) carry.

    • @dacian

      “The fear of mass murder has now become so real that Atlanta cancelled a music concert because a new Far Right nut case law prevented them from outlawing the carrying of heavy firepower at a concert.”

      There is no “new Far Right nut case law”. There is law upholding the rights of law abiding people.

      The Atlanta Music Festival was on public property, tax payer funded and paid for public property, its a general access public area and not a special access public area.

      The Atlanta Music Festival:

      They “welcome” violent intoxicated people.
      They “welcome” violent gang members.
      They “welcome” violent drug dealers.

      But they do not welcome the law abiding exercising their constitutional rights?

      Its just plain wrong to conflate ‘mass murder’ with exercising a constitutional right.

      How about all the ‘mass murder’ you have helped along by re-enforcing such a false stereotype that feeds right into the support of a ‘mass murderer’ mindset, you did it with ‘first amendment’ rights so lets ban the use of ‘first amendment’ for you.

    • When you allow the Naked ape to carry heavy firepower and drink booze at the same time the naked ape will shoot it out every time. This exactly why guns are almost always outlawed in bars because when you mix naked young male apes with guns, booze and half naked women a fight will break out guaranteed.

      It only made perfect sense to cancel the concert as it was a powder keg ready to explode if they had gone on with it.

      • ‘Naked Ape’, very revealing to your mindset there, Herr dacian.

        All are guilty and none can prove they are innocent.

        A more Nazi attitude I’ve never seen anywhere.

  14. A “natural” consequence?! Sorry, it’s not natural to me because I used to own a gun (before my boating accident), that I should be expected to murder ten or twenty people. Also, where are the alcohol lawsuits? Did Budweiser not know I’d overdrink and kill someone after a superbowl party?

  15. If I recall correctly Noosems new “sue em all” law says the seller/distributor/manufacturer must have a REASON to believe the buyer could possibly use the firearm for illegal purposes to be held liable. Problem: the manufacturer and the distributor NEVER have any personal contact with the end user and the only information the seller had to go on was the FEDERAL background check unless he is an expert body language interpreter or has a degee in psychology. Sue the FEDS, they are the only thing standing between a buyer and a gun and they have ALL of the information available on the buyer. This guy broke a dozen laws including the biggie “DON’T KILL”. If all of Kommiefornias laws could not keep this clown from his mission, then maybe you should sue the state and why not go after the Garlic Festival? They should be responsible for the safety of the attendees, I bet there were No Guns Allowed signs at every entrance, but didn’t this guy slip in through a hole in the fence? Oooooops, sounds like a property owner issue and who made that cheap fence?

  16. Why is every tragedy now a payday for the lawyers? Not every horrible event is a reason to file lawsuits. Next question would be just how is a manufacturer or distributer/wholesaler to know what some retail purchaser is going to do at some future date? Is ford, or GM supposed to know when, where, and by who their product will be used in a drive by shooting? or as the weapon of choice for some angry ex-spouse to run over someone? Perhaps we should sue the local home goods, or Walmart that sold the Chicago Cutlery knife used to stab someone. Or Louisville Slugger for the next gay bashing. How about suing the rope maker for the lynchings performed by the KKK a generation or 2 ago.

  17. I wrecked a pickup drunk on vodka, it almost killed me, I think I got PSTD’s from it and my shoulder hurts. I’m sueing Chevy, and McCormick by golly. Oh and the liquor store guy too.

  18. I wish they would use this type of lawsuit against drug dealers, distributors and the companies that manufacturer of illegal drugs to put them out of business.

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