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(This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.)

By Nicholas J. Johnson

Some of the families who survived the horror of the Newtown shooting are suing Bushmaster, the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle that was used by the deranged gunman who murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The complaint actually reads more like an attempt at healing than a serious legal claim. To that extent, I am sympathetic. But the strictly legal issues and theory of recovery to be gleaned from it deserve comment . . .


This is in the class of claims that are barred by a 2005 law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).  Congress passed the PLCAA in response to several years’ worth of creative municipal lawsuits against the gun industry. Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell explained in a speech to the American Bar Association that the litigation was designed to avoid consolidation and stretch the ability of gun makers to pay for legal defense in dozens of jurisdictions at once.

Many of those claims dripped with irony. One popular legal theory was that gun manufacturers—defying the profit motive—were negligently oversupplying firearms to distressed communities. The irony was that the only real evidence of product-dumping was that  some of the plaintiffs had upgraded the police arsenals of their cities by selling large lots of used police guns at below-market prices. (See the Wall Street Journal report on this by Vanessa  O’Connell and Paul Barrett, November 10, 1999.)

The PLCCA allows manufacturers to be sued for selling defective firearms and for violating laws directly regulating firearms. But sellers of properly functioning firearms who comply with the National Firearms Act, the Gun Control Act of 1968 (with its many amendments) and myriad other federal and state laws governing the manufacture and sale of firearms, cannot be sued for criminal use of their products.

This reflects the fact that firearms like many other products (cars, alcohol, knives, hammers, matches, fuel oil, and fertilizer) have positive, legitimate uses but also can be criminally abused.

The complaint against Bushmaster seems to be an attempt to circumvent the PLCCA with the claim that the AR-15 is exceptional; that it is a military arm with no legitimate self-defense utility. There is no such exception in the PLCCA. So the suit attempts to establish an implied, overriding qualification: that the sales of the AR-15 are in such a different, extraordinary category that an exception to the PLCCA is implicit.

The answer to this argument is evident in the national norms that are demonstrated in the basics of U.S. firearms regulation, our constitutional right to arms, and the dynamics of our uniquely armed society. Start with the obvious thing. Guns are deadly—all of them. The gruesome work of madmen who assault unarmed people is not significantly impaired by the technological differences between common firearms.

Still, the complaint suggests that the AR-15 is an exceptional military gun; that government and military have taken special efforts to keep such guns exclusively in government and military hands; and that manufacturers like Bushmaster, defying these efforts, (have) negligently entrusted the AR-15 to civilians.

Putting aside its novelty, this negligent-entrustment theory fails because its core assertions are are demonstrably false.

It is quite plain that Congress has explicitly entrusted semiautomatic firearms like the AR-15 to civilians through a variety of affirmative legislative choices. The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), are two of the most pertinent. (One might also make this point by showing that the AR-15 is squarely within the category of constitutionally protected common firearms; but that path is well worn. I want to focus here on the less familiar, and more pointed, legislative judgments.)

The NFA places heightened restrictions on, and dramatically increases the costs of, owning fully automatic firearms and destructive devices that Congress deemed exceptional and that are technologically distinct from the broader pool of common firearms. Common long guns and handguns, including repeating technologies like lever actions, revolvers, and semiautomatics with detachable box magazines, were placed outside the strict regulations of the NFA.

More than 30 years later, those common firearms, were are subjected to the provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968. The 1968 law and its multiple amendments restricted who could possess firearms, but continued to entrust the spectrum of common firearms to citizens of the republic.

In 1994, Congress nominally banned guns deemed “assault weapons.” The ban was pure security theater. It prohibited further manufacture of guns based on appearance and left functionally identical guns in slightly different configurations freely available. The ban’s main effect was to spur demand for the prohibited configurations. When, a decade later, the ban expired with a whimper, even a prominent original supporter said it would not make “one whit of difference.” (See Tom Diaz, NPR radio broadcast of March 11, 2004.)

I suppose the Connecticut lawyers would say that the congressional entrustment evident here is only implicit; that allowing trade in semiautomatics under the Gun Control Act, and the failure to reenact the 1994 assault weapon ban are different from explicit entrustment. Indeed, their suit seems to suggest that in initiatives like the PLCAA, lawmakers were not really paying attention to how firearms technology was developing and that manufactures of the AR-15 exploited that inattention.

The pointed answer to that argument is the Civilian Marksmanship Program I mentioned. Under the CMP, which has existed since 1903, the U.S. government has long directly entrusted—meaning given and sold—actual military firearms, including semiautomatic rifles with detachable box magazines, to individuals and shooting clubs.

The program was created to encourage civilian training and practice with military arms. It reflected the broad judgment that Americans were and should continue to be a nation of riflemen. Through a cooperative arrangement between the CMP and (for over 50 years) the National Rifle Association, citizens could purchase government-surplus rifles and handguns.

In 1994, the CMP was removed from the federal budget and required to sustain itself financially. Pursuant to 36 USC 40729, it still promotes marksmanship training and national shooting competitions, and it sells semiautomatic military battle rifles to individual citizens and clubs. The AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in CMP competitions. Over the decades, the federal government has in this way directly entrusted to civilians semiautomatic battle rifles and carbines that duplicate or exceed the capabilities of the AR-15.

The stalwart of the CMP program is the semiautomatic M-1 Garand in .30-06. General George Patton called the Garand the “greatest battle implement ever devised”. Ballistically, the .223 cartridge of AR-15 pales in comparison to the Garand’s .30-06. Unlike the AR-15, the Garand is not a civilian likeness of a military arm. The Garand is the actual World War II battle rifle.

The CMP legislation also entrusted to American citizens the M-14 battle rifle (rendered semiautomatic only). The M-14 is the direct successor to the Garand. It fires the slightly less powerful but more compact .308 cartridge from a detachable box magazine. Although the .308 cartridge is slightly less powerful than the Garand’s 30.06, it is still far more powerful than the .223 cartridge used in the AR-15. The M-14 was used in the Vietnam War until it was replaced by the M-16. It remains in limited service across the branches.

Also on the CMP list of federally entrusted firearms is the M-1 carbine. The M-1 carbine shares many of the characteristics of the AR-15. It is more compact than the Garand or the M-14. It fires a lower powered cartridge than the Garand or the M-14. The M1 Carbine’s 110 grain, .30 caliber cartridge is in the same intermediate ballistics category as the AR-15’s 55 grain, .223 cartridge. Like the AR-15 and the M-14, the M1 Carbine feeds ammunition through a detachable box magazine.

This is just a sketch of the public decision-making that refutes the Connecticut suit’s negligent-entrustment theory. Even if the AR-15 were deemed technologically exceptional, it isn’t plausible to argue that its manufacturers and sellers have violated some implicit national norm and negligently entrusted it to American citizens. Still, it is worth the effort to reinforce precisely why the AR-15 is not technologically exceptional.

The Connecticut complaint attempts to establish that the AR-15 is exceptional by parroting what even a staunch gun control supporter writing in the New York Times recently called the “Assault Weapon Myth.” That myth grows out (of) an early calculation of the gun-control lobby that is illustrated in a now widely disseminated memorandum by Josh Sugarmann of the Violence Policy Center. Here is Sugarmann:

The issue of handgun restriction consistently remains a non-issue with the vast majority of legislators, the press, and the public. … until someone famous is shot, or something truly horrible happens, handgun restriction is simply not viewed as a priority.  Assault weapons… are a new topic.  The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons – anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun – can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. [1]

Semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 are, like all guns, deadly instruments. But they are not fundamentally different in function or effect from other guns. The Assault Weapons Myth says that the AR-15 with a 30 round magazine has exceptional multishot capability. This is false.  Most ordinary repeating shotguns will exceed the AR-15 in multishot capability as well as close to medium range lethality.  Consider the standard repeating shotgun in 12 gauge configuration. All of these guns can be reloaded continuously, without disabling the firearm. With a three inch, 00 buckshot load, any of these guns will fire fifteen .33 caliber, 60 grain projectiles with one pull of the trigger.

A typical repeating shotgun holds six rounds of ammunition (and is easily configured to hold nine or more). So with six quick trigger pulls, the 12 gauge repeating shotgun will fire ninety, .33 caliber projectiles.  There are a variety of other loadings that will push this rate upward.  For example, the No. 4 buckshot load contains twenty-seven .24 caliber projectiles, yielding 144 projectiles with six trigger pulls.[2]

When measured objectively, the specious claims about the AR-15 – e.g., fantastic spray fire capabilities – are actually closer descriptions of the ordinary repeating shotgun. Formal confirmation of this appears in the Armed Services Shotgun report which demonstrates that the AR-15, far from being exceptional, as is claimed by the Newtown Complaint, is in fact surpassed by the common shotgun.  Here is the report in pertinent part

The shotgun … finds its class or analogy as to purpose and effect, in many modern weapons.  The dispersion of the shotgun pellets is adapted to the necessary purpose of putting out of action more than one of the charging enemy with each shot of the gun; and in this respect it is exactly analogous to shrapnel shells discharging a multitude of fragments or a machine gun discharging a spray of bullets.

The diameter of the bullet is scarcely greater than that of a rifle or machine gun.

The only instances where a shotgun projectile causes more injury to any one enemy soldier than would a hit by a rifle bullet are instances where the enemy soldier has approached so close to the shooter that he is struck by more than one of the nine No. 00 buckshot projectiles contained in the cartridge.  This… is permissible as an unavoidable incident of the use of small scattering projectiles for the necessary purpose of increasing the likelihood of killing a number of enemies.

To a range of thirty yards, the probability of hitting a man sized target with a shotgun was superior to that of all other weapons. The probability of hitting the intended target with an assault rifle was one in eleven” [Here assault rifle refers to the technically defined, fully automatic rifle, firing ammunition in the intermediate ballistic range].  It was one in eight with a submachine gun firing a five round burst. [Here submachine gun refers to a fully automatic carbine firing a pistol cartridge].   Shotguns had a hit probability ratio twice as good as rifles.

The Complaint’s claims about the AR-15 and similar guns ultimately dissolve under objective testing and measurement. Still the politically generated Assault Weapon Myth remains potent. It is rooted in cynical projections about the gullibility of the American public that remind one of recently revealed calculations surrounding passage of the Affordable Care Act. These sorts of contemptuous bets capitalize on the difficulty of getting even basic, verifiable truths through the din of popular culture.

I wager that the Connecticut judiciary will be harder to fool.

[1] Full copy on file with author. See also New York Times The Assault Weapon Myth at ;
Nicholas J. Johnson Stenberg Principles, Assault Weapons and the Attitudinalist Critique, 60 Hastings L. J. 1285 (2009).
[2] Note here that buckshot is different from bird shot, which includes loads where individual pellets are as small as .09 hundredths of an inch.  A typical one ounce load will contain approximately 400 of these small lead pellets.   See,


Nicholas J. Johnson is Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law is the author of Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms. He is the lead editor of Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Cases and Materials (Aspen Press, 2012).


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  1. To allow this lawsuit with absolutely no basis in fact to even get to a judge. Other then to dismiss it is ridiculous.

    • Having appeared as a professional witness, in my experience it is not uncommon for a lawyer to ignore the law yet pull on the heart strings of a jury. If only a judge is involved, they have biases and quite often an interpretation of the law that is not learned or legal sending innocents to jail or determine fault base only on emotion.

      The intent of many of these suits is to get a settlement from the accused rather than an expensive court fight.

      This could be a ground breaking case and bears watching closely!

      • The intent of this case is to set a precedent. There will be no settlement. And whoever wins, there will be an appeal. I’d bet money on it (and I do not gamble).

        • You still aren’t gambling. You’re putting money on a sure thing.

          That is, as long as none of the conservative judges die in the next year.

          This case WILL end up in front of the Supreme Court before it’s over. If this case hasn’t been thrown out already, the judge simply doesn’t care about the law and will probably rule in favor of the “victims” (I’m still not sure there were any.) but Bushmaster will have to appeal. The entire gun manufacturer’s community will have an interest in seeing that happen. When it makes it’s way to SCOTUS, they will likely admit that the suit was meritless and will toss it any any judgements based on it aside.

          Who else here prays every night for Ginsburg’s health to hold out for another year and a half? We took the last election cycle, Obama’s threats to veto any legeslation the GOP passes won’t win any support from swing voters in 16′ and we’ll likely take the white house as well. (unless Bush gets the primary nod. I think his name alone, much less his record, will cost us just the same as Clinton’s will.)

  2. “Although the .308 cartridge is slightly less powerful than the Garand’s 30.06, it is still far more powerful than the .223 cartridge used in the AR-15.”

    In mondern day ammunition you would be correct. But if I remember correctly wasn’t the .308 when introduced shortened because the advances in powders allowed a shorter case while still remaining balisticly similar to the 30-06 it replaced in service. Isn’t that why today they have special load recommendations for the M1 Garand and warnings not to us modern power loads over concerns of bending the op rod.

    • AFAIK, and I am no expert, the reason for the shortened cartridge was for improved reliability in full auto fire. the longer 30-06 tended to jam because of the long stroke required.

    • As an interested observer, but utterly ignorant on this point, all I can add is that both points sound plausible. Both posts are intelligent and respectful and I thank you both for your contributions.

    • You are correct. Modern 7.62×51 NATO (.308) is equal to M2 Ball (WWII .30-06). Modern .30-06 is a bit more potent. One thing Garand shooters have to contend with is that if you want to shoot modern .30-06 out of your M1, you have to change out the gas plug to run the hotter modern ammo. The action is more than strong enough. (There are custom M1s converted to shoot .458 Winchester Magnum) but the new ammo can bend an operating rod if the gas plug that regulates the cycling of the rifle isn’t swapped for one designed to lower the pressure spike on the gas system.

    • From my understanding the ammo restrictions for the Garand center on the action needing a somewhat specific pressure curve to operate as designed. There are plenty of “modern” powders fully suitable to the Garand’s action because they provide that ideal pressure curve.

      I’ve never loaded for a Garand but every reloading manual I’ve ever laid hands on has specific loads just for Garands using powders that meet its requirements.

  3. Just another case of grabbers ignoring laws they don’t agree with and the system accommodating them. Probably more of an effort to keep the bloody shirts waving and to keep the raw emotion of Newtown fresh.

  4. This sounds like it is going forward more for show than anything else. It is either a “Let it have it’s day in court” and rule against the plaintiff anyway. Or it lets a judge use tortured weasel words to rule against Bushmaster to push the ignorant anti scary black rifle agenda.

  5. So is this lawsuit going to get anywhere? How can it proceed in spite of the law against such lawsuits? What good is the law if a judge can just torture the language to claim that the AR-15 is a special class of dangerous weapon and thus rule against Bushmaster?

    • “So is this lawsuit going to get anywhere? How can it proceed in spite of the law against such lawsuits?”

      For decades cigarette companies were sued for causing cancer without getting a judgement.

      Then, they started winning…

      I expect them to take the same tack with firearms…

      • Ding, ding, ding – that is exactly what they are trying to do here! Given it is in CT, you easily find a corrupt, inept, or activist judges who do not give a damn about the law so that it proceeds to federal courts that are stacked with more corrupt, inept or activist liberal progressive judges who use the constitution for toilet paper.

        I have read several articles on this topic, they all said it should not go through but it will and they will follow the same bogus tactics used in the cigarette legal battles.

        • Yes, exactly how this thing could go, and eventually is likely to go. Just like gay marriage. State constitutional amendments prohibiting it meant nothing to 5 judges on the SCOTUS.

          This article is excellent and will be determinant if fact and logic win the day. But too often they don’t.

        • But in the case of cigarettes, they knew they were deadly and addictive and hid it. No such thing is happening with the case against Bushmaster. They aren’t claiming the products are defective or claiming the maker is trying to hide a defect. They are trying to (illegally) get the Ar-15 reclassified.

  6. Good piece, however “prodeeds” and “because its core assertions are are demonstrably false”, “those common firearms, were are ” need to be fixed. Proceeds, delete one are, etc.

    Otherwise I agree. One concern I have though is that refuting the claims of this claim on the basis of there being precident for similar firearms being “allowed” for civilians, is that should a supreme Court case find exactly that, there would be the implied meaning that there are then some arms that can be legally forbidden. To be sure, we already have this in the NFA and other legislation and cases, but another landmark case indicating would not be helpful. In short, should a court of any sort, especially the Supreme Court, hold that a particular firearm is not forbidden, then that implies that some can be forbidden, according to some possibly undefined criteria. I seriously dislike the ambiguity of many of the decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as the reasoning which is often used. Due process is incredibly dangerous without being reigned in by guidlines and underlying intent in the law, but that is definitely another conversation.

      • Yes it did.

        To firearms with a military purpose. Since there was no military purpose to the sawed-off shotgun, Miller was punished.

        • Brian, My brother was a radiomen, in Viet Nam and he carried an 870, with 00 buck. Also the model 97 was use during WW 1 And 2 . Must have missed the History Channel .

        • It wasn’t that there was no military use for a short barreled shotgun, but that “The Court cannot take judicial notice that a shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches long has today any reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, and therefore cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees to the citizen the right to keep and bear such a weapon.”

          A very convoluted ruling, but it definitely did hold that the 2nd Amendment explicitly protects the ownership of military small arms.

      • Actually, U.S. v. Miller was simply remanded back to the Appeals Court, which Miller and his defense team simply declined to pursue. They didn’t even show up for their day before the SCOTUS. Pitty.

        • By that point, Miller was deceased and his lawyer didn’t have the means to travel to DC and argue before the Supreme Court pro bono.

        • False. It was a kangaroo case set up the original judge to uphold the NFA. It was a case made to lose.

  7. large lots of used police guns at below-market prices

    Where? Online perhaps? Is there a place to get a cheap surplus 1911?

    • Mostly S&W Model 64 K Frame .38 Special revolvers and S&W Model 65 and 66 .357 Magnum K frame revolvers. Tons of them ended up sold off when police departments began adopting wonder nines in the late 80s. Most of them were a bit battered but were mechanically sound, since they weren’t actually fired that much.

      A police turn in 64 is my nightstand gun.

  8. The OP is correct, except for one concern that he cannot address. The district judges in Connecticut and the Second Circuit itself are, as a group, completely untrustworthy and ultimately dismissive of the law. Most of the district judges are political hacks, while most of the Second Circuit are ideologues untethered by reality. I don’t trust a single damn one of them.

    • +1. See my response below.

      Also see some interesting and relevant discussion on the near 100% connection between Circuit of Appeals judge political nomination source, ie by Democrats, and their anti-gun votes in 2A decision, between a poster kcbrown and others, at forms on 2A litigation, and mdshooters under National 2A issues.

      Statistically, correlation is not causation, especially on a small sample.
      But on a reasonableness basis, at some point you have to admit the pattern is too obvious to ignore.

    • If need be, it’ll go all the way up to SCOTUS. One nice thing about the gun owner community is that it collectively invests considerable money into organizations like NRA and especially SAF, that provide quality legal coverage for high-profile cases like that.

  9. I built my own AR-15, and I didn’t do it until after Sandy Hook. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

    Not a single part of that gun was overly different from anything else that’s widely available.

    And now it’s leaned against the wall in my bedroom as a home defense rifle.

  10. Makes me want to go get an AR to see what’s so different about it.

    I almost hope this goes forward far enough that a judge finally shuts it down and orders the plaintiffs to pay all the defendants’ legal fees, by then a huge amount.

    • AR-15’s are LEGO guns. You can make it anything you want it to be. The separate quick chance upper receiver allows any lower receiver to function as a multicaliber rifle. You can have a dedicated .22lr upper, then swap to .223, 9mm or even the .45-70 equivalent .50 Beowulf, or literally any other caliber that will fit in the mag well. You can have a short barreled carbine or a long barreled target rifle. Using the same lower, if you want. You can mount more rails on it than a Lionel train set and hang fifteen different accessories off of it, or you can get elegant wood furniture for it. You can build an AR15 to be what ever you want it to be.

      And if you have to have a full power rifle cartridge, you can get an AR10.

    • The AR-15 is a Barbie gun. Almost all the fun is picking out your parts, accessories, and color/finish. 5.56 isn’t the most exciting round to shoot.

  11. If you believe the official Newtown narrative, then you get what you deserve. To be a disarmed serf on the plantation USA.

  12. i remember seeing the news report were the ar15 was never used. It was in the truck the whole time… So this whole thing is bs.. Bs anyway because it’s not bushmasters fault but just a waste of time and more bs…

    • No, that was false, the shotgun was in the car trunk. The AR fired all but two rounds. The remaining two were from a handgun, one of which was the last shot when Lanza took his own life. Two simple changes would have saved most if not all of those children that day, if the front security door had not been glass he would not have been able to shoot his way through it, and second if the classroom doors had the ability to be locked from the inside. The classroom doors had locks, but they had to be locked from the outside with a key. The shooter did not enter through any locked classroom doors, only two classroom where there apparently wasn’t time to get the doors locked. Never mind one brave soul with a handgun, one bullet, one dead shooter.

      • As I recall from the photos – he shot out a window NEXT TO the doors and entered that way. He did not go through the front doors at all.

  13. The question is not whether the judge in CT will be fooled, but whether he will be willing to play the fool in order to advance a gun control agenda.

    • It is CT. A state where the Probate System was so corrupt that they had to rewrite that whole section of law. A place where judges have taken many opportunity to line their own pockets.

      Finding a judge in CT that will easily ignore the law to advance a political agenda is rather easy.

      This will go through because CT has bad judges supported by many corrupt politicians.

  14. The lawyer involved should face sanctions for bringing a case that is so obviously spurious on it’s face to court.

  15. Here is another take on the Newtown lawsuit, that dismisses the case on legal basis, that also speaks to the ridiculous rant and lies by Adam Gopnick at the New Yorker.

    See also comments by readers at Instapundit, consitutional law professor Glenn Reynolds, here:

    And follow the link to Althouse, for more observations.

    IANAL, but it appears that the coordinated assault on gun rights by various Journolistas and editors at Left-press gressive arbiters of what The Elites Who Know Whats Best For The Little People is underway, and the epicenter is in NYC.

    How well those paid for propagandists are linked to the WhiteHouse, thru various past proven connections like Talking Points Media and Media Matters should become clear as the Gun-grabber in chief, or his captive minions in the DOJ follow his orders on Executive Action.

    I would expect those new rules to be justified as a response to the manufactured demand from the masses, by the StateRunMedia, and astroturfers, like Bloombergs puppets, Brady, CRGL and so on.

    What I really hate to believe, but read is the widespread cynicism by those with appellate court experience, just as Ralph has expressed in another comment, is the possibility that Federal judges, will violate their oaths to uphold the law on the basis of precedent and legal theory,

    and instead act upon their personal political affiliations, to justify a perversion of process, to come up with some convoluted extreme justification, to road-block the 2nd amendment wins in Heller, and McDonald, by creating bad law, as precedent to deny carry fro protection outside the home,

    In districts like the 9th, now considering the appeals to overturn Peruta, by the discredited arguments of the avowed gun-grabber and ambitious aspirer to the Imperial throne, CA AG Kamala Harris,

    And in the 2nd, where its believed Obama and the Democrats led by Senator Dirty Harry Reed conspired to pack that court, now awaiting an appeal on Palmer, from the corrupt and mendaciously avowed anti-gun DC Council.

    I would suggest that the obvious surge and similarity of outright lies, are both the “signaling” and justification that both tells these jurists that the time is now, when the ends justify the means, to violate their oaths, in service to a higher political cause.

    I truly hope I am wrong, but history proves, that individuals make mistakes, as do groups, when the incentive is high enough.

    Lets just hope the moral judges outweigh the corrupt.

    • Obama and Co. Only care about hi legacy – thus BS immigration executive orders. If can ram rod a anti-gun legacy through the courts he has helped form, he will. Holder and Obama and Reid have nothing to loose. To their base bypassing the pesky laws and the constitution is considered just and courageous.

      The White House is a political machine. That is all they care about. I would not be surprised if Obama or members of his team have their hands in this – you have to ask, where is the money to bring this to the federal level is to come from? Since this happening in a deep blue state in a deep blue federal district, this is planned and they are simply going through the motions.

      There are no moral judges that will stop this. I would like to believe there are, but have seen how politics and the law works in CT. I will be more surprised if it gets kicked out versus if it proceeds.

      There is more going on in the background than we know. We can talk law all we want, but it will not matter when you have a corrupt legal system. When you have people who can ignore or twist the law, there is little that can be done. No doubt this ends up at the SCOTUS.

  16. One more comment:

    Thank you, TTAG, for discussing more than just gun reviews, and providing a place to learn about the larger aspects of gun culture, where in other fine blogs, that advertise “only guns no politics” one might not learn it.

    The reason it matters is because there is a concerted effort, waged by the left, to deliberately deprive citizens of their freedoms, and its part of the Lefts strategy following Alijsky’s goals to make a social state. (That others have explained better, so google if you are unfamiliar).

    And the point is this: it is up to us, citizens and POTG, to keep up the pressure. Asking and paying groups like the NRA and SAF to continue to work together on what they do best, requiring those new Senators and Representatives to keep their promises, after Jan 1, vs business as usual, and to kep doing our part, educating new folks on the point of gun ownership as a simple god-given inalienable right that both protects you and your family, when seconds count, and the police are just minutes away…

    And against a tyrranical State. Its a damn shame we even have to consider the possibility that a concerted effort is underway by that State, to take our rights away, by extra-judicial means, using government sponsored propaganda, bug when you consider the proof of similar illegal abuse of State power in Solyndra-green fraud, TARP big bank corruption of the supposed stimulus, Fast annd Furious, Benghazi, IRSgate, and now the relevations of the Big Lie that is ObamaCare,

    then the inescapable rational conclusion, all politics aside is simple, if you have a brain, and a heart, and you believe in the priciples that make America free, the you cant help but admit that free citizens have to be vigilant, and do our part, to defend our country, by all lawful means, against enemies foreign, and domestic.

    It starts with Truth, and spreading the word, and education of selc and others, so thanks again, TTAG.

    • I second this! Also, specifically, THANK YOU DAN! I enjoy reading your articles for several reasons: they are well researched, they are properly cited, and they are not just a rant. It’s refreshing in today’s trite world of emotion-based arguments!

  17. I have read that pump action shotguns were developed by the military and law enforcement in the wild west to stop human wave mass American Indian assaults and for close quarters use against criminals prior to the development of the machine pistol.
    The bolt action rifles were developed for military purposes.
    Smokeless powder was developed for the military Lebel rifle.
    Revolvers and lever action rifles were developed with military and law enforcement in mind.
    Semi auto rifles were around before the AR-15.

    • Yes and no. colt’s first revolver was developed for the civilian market, but did not sell and the firm folded. His second pistol was the Walker, developed at the behest of the Texas Rangers commanding officer of the same name. The 1949 pocket pistol was developed for civilian consumption, but the various dragoons were developed for military sales, though they were also available on the civilian market. The ’51 Navy got its name from the scene on the cylinder, not the name of the customer, and was originally and widely sold to civilians, but were popular sidearms in the military as well. The first lever action was the the Henry, which was not developed for military sales, although attempts to do so were certainly made. After Winchester bought the patent, most sales were to civilians because it was originally a pistol caliber rifle (.44 rimfire) without the range and power of the Spencer carbine, and were thus deemed unsuitable for military purposes. Plus, as has been widely reported, the generals did not want soldiers to have weapons that would rapidly use up their ammunition supplies during battle, given the logistic nightmare of resupply during battle. One must also remember that back in the day, manufacturers built guns and tried to sell them to the military, and it is only now that weapons and weapons systems are built to government design and order. It is also true, though, that the needs of war have propelled huge technological developments–necessity being the mother of invention and all.

  18. “pellets are as small as .09 hundredths of an inch”

    Isn’t it something you can load into 0.9 mm pistol?

  19. On that note, this is why the PLCAA exists, and is needed:

    From December 31, 1998. has a whole bunch of stories about Rendell’s lawsuits in their archives, in case anyone ever tries to argue that Congress shouldn’t go out of their way to protect the gun industry from lawsuits. Rendell and a bunch of other big names on the left were trying to use exactly this strategy to destroy the gun industry. And it might have actually worked.

  20. This analysis is great. There is one more important aspect : Sandy Hook shooting was an elaborated hoax perpetrated onto the american public to further mental health agendas and gun control. Check ‘We need to talk about sandy hook’ documentary on youtube.
    Another fact, this lawsuit is bogus, it might not even be real. I emailed bushmaster to let them know this event is not real, they never replied back. I also think the bushmaster was in on it as well, wall street and the Cerberus capital stood to gain from this event.

  21. Excellent argument which suffers from the (Public Relations wise) fact of relying on logic and facts. Remember that these types passed the undetectable firearms act in the 80’s which literally didn’t ban anything as nothing fit its criteria.

    I had not thought of using the CMP as a counter argument. Well explicated. Well done sir.

  22. So is there another lawsuit underway against Honda? It was a honda the shooter drove to the crime scene, wasn’t it?

  23. Every time someone Newton-denying post is left unchallenged, it hurts the cause of gun rights.

    Newtown happened. The government is not good enough to craft such an effective hoax. Sometimes people kill other people with guns, and we are crazy — literally — to deny that.

    Let’s stick to the truth. We do not need to manufacture conspiracies. The facts are on our side. There is abundant evidence that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens makes the country safer. Air bags kill people, but there is no movement to ban them from cars.

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