States, Politicians Join NRA in Backing Remington in Sandy Hook Lawsuit Supreme Court Appeal

remington bushmaster lawsuit sandy hook PLCAA

Courtesy Remington

In March, the Connecticut Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling throwing out a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Sandy Hook parents and one survivor against Remington Arms. Remington made the Bushmaster rifle used in the massacre.

A lower court dismissed the suit against the Remington because of the provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. But the state Supreme Court bought the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ argument that Remington had violated Connecticut’s unfair trade practices law in its Bushmaster advertisements.

As a result, they narrowly ruled that the suit can go forward despite PLCAA protections. Remington then appealed that decision to the US Supreme Court.

As the following AP report details, Big Green is getting support from a group of states, Congresscritters and the National Rifle Association in their appeal of the Connecticut court’s ruling.

By Dave Collins, Associated Press

Ten states and nearly two dozen members of Congress are joining the National Rifle Association in supporting gun-maker Remington Arms as it fights a Connecticut court ruling involving liability for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Officials in the 10 conservative states, 22 House Republicans and the NRA are among groups that filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday. They urged justices to overturn the Connecticut decision, citing a much-debated 2005 federal law that shields gun-makers from liability, in most cases, when their products are used in crimes.

Remington, based in Madison, North Carolina, made the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators at the Newtown, Connecticut, school on Dec. 14, 2012.

A survivor and relatives of nine victims of the massacre filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Remington in 2015, saying the company should have never sold such a dangerous weapon to the public and alleging it targeted younger, at-risk males in marketing and product placement in violent video games.

Citing one of the few exemptions in the 2005 federal law, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in March that Remington could be sued under state law over how it marketed the rifle. The decision overturned a ruling by a state trial court judge who dismissed the lawsuit based on the federal law, named the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

The federal law has been criticized by gun control advocates as being too favorable to gun-makers, and it has been used to bar lawsuits over other mass killings.

The Connecticut case is being watched by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and gun manufacturers across the country because it has the potential to provide a roadmap for victims of other mass shootings to circumvent the federal law and sue firearm makers.

One of the supporting papers filed this week was by officials in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

“The Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision reads a narrow exception broadly,” the states’ brief says. “That reading is inconsistent with the text of the PLCAA. And it creates uncertainty for States seeking to implement sound gun policies consistent with federal law.”

Among the Republican members of Congress who filed a brief Wednesday were Reps. Jim Jordan, of Ohio, Jim Sensenbrenner, of Wisconsin, and Greg Walden, of Oregon.

The congressional Republicans’ brief says they “have a strong interest in ensuring the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 … is interpreted and applied consistent with Congress’s stated purpose, and that the narrow exceptions to the PLCAA are not applied in a way that frustrates congressional intent and renders the PLCAA’s protections meaningless.”

The NRA filed a brief with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a fellow pro-gun rights group, saying the Connecticut ruling threatens the gun rights of all Americans.

“The right to keep and bear arms means nothing if the ability to acquire those arms is not possible because the firearm industry is put out of business by unlimited and uncertain liability for criminal misuse of their products,” their brief says.

A lawyer for the victims’ relatives suing Remington defended the lawsuit and the Connecticut court decision.

“None of the politically-motivated briefs filed on Remington’s behalf undermine the well-reasoned determination by our state’s highest court that these families deserve their day in court,” Katie Mesner-Hage said in a statement.

comments

  1. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    If that kind of nonsense is permitted drug companies and carmakers are in TROUBLE! Not to mention aircraft manufacturers. I’d make sure with a suit or 5.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      If such a precedent is set Ford and GM could be in trouble for their marketing of performance cars.

      1. avatar Randy says:

        … and don’t forget Dodge with their 600+ hp Challengers (especially the latest accident in California).

        1. Also Tesla, and any other auto manufacturer who is supplying “driver-less” vehicles for sale to the public.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      this case is thin…all based on questionable marketing practices….a simple “cease and desist”…and an agreement to do so…should have put an end to it….

  2. avatar Rad Man says:

    If you want your day in court, have at it. Remington should not be the respondent, however.

  3. avatar American Patriot says:

    Sounds like the Video game mfr is at fault for marketing guns on their game & selling it to underage & mental health problem young adults that didn’t go thru a background check!

  4. avatar JP Ruiz says:

    I have no faith in the SCOTUS, courtesy of John “I’ll Save Obamacare” Roberts.

    Seeing what happened with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (a supposedly “Conservative Federal Appeals Court”) allowing the Democrat Party Propaganda Term “Assault Weapons”, to stand in our Legal System by upholding an Assault Weapons Ban, and when you combine that with the titanic propaganda anti-2nd Amendment Push from Big-Tech and Democrat Party Billionaire Donors alongside Trump going leftward……………………you have a 2nd Amendment Disaster at hand.

    1. avatar Rusty Shackleford says:

      Don’t you mean John “I abducted two children” Roberts?

  5. avatar MMurcek says:

    The federal government terror watch list was just ruled unconstitutional. Good luck with those red flag laws…

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      God, I love that.

    2. avatar Mike B in WI says:

      “The federal government terror watch list was just ruled unconstitutional.”
      I like it, but…Citation, please

      1. avatar ZBM-2 says:

        The case was just decided in the Eastern District of Virginia. It’s less a case of “the No Fly List is Unconstitutional” and more a case of “You haven’t provided a Constitutionally acceptable method of redress for the people who end up on it, not least because you don’t actually TELL anyone that they’re on it.” Which COULD in the end result in much the same thing, but not necessarily. Plus, it’s got a couple of levels of appeals that it could go through, so the case is FAR from over at this time, and could flip in either direction at each level of appeal. So, technically it HAS been declared unconstitutional as it is, but that doesn’t keep it from getting modified, nor is the court that issued the ruling going to have the final say in the matter.
        https://ij.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/18919913387.pdf

    3. avatar rosignol says:

      If the no-fly list is unconstitutional on due process grounds, it is extremely difficult to see how ‘Red Flag’ laws would pass muster.

  6. avatar Dave Lewis says:

    Liberal judges will ALWAYS interpret a law as broadly as possible as long as it pushes a liberal cause. That’s the way they make more business for themselves.

  7. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    The state of Connecticut should be forced to pay Remmington all costs involving this BS suit. Then the state should be cut off from the rest of the country and set adrift.
    I can dream cant I????

    1. avatar DDay says:

      the state of CT isnt’ suing remington, a law firm for 9 families is. They should have to pay remington.

      1. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

        Except they will declare bankruptcy. We need tort reform that puts the lawyers primarily on the hook and let them try to collect that from the client they were representing.

      2. avatar Southern Cross says:

        The lawyers are the only winners. Shakespeare was right.

      3. avatar frank speak says:

        perhaps a counter suit would be in order?…

    2. avatar Roh-Dog says:

      As a de facto prisoner of the State of Connecticut, I agree!
      The only good thing about this state, the roads lead out too.
      (And maybe the hunting and fishing. Don’t tell anyone!)

      1. avatar Matt says:

        Too bad the roads are worse than MA now…

  8. avatar 2020Matters says:

    Gun Control is coming HARD NEXT WEEK! Start Now to fill the inboxes of all of Congress and Potus! See Bio of this IG account for links to contact ur reps!

    Send this messages every break u get daily cuz its going to get nasty…we must stand & fight 4 rights!

    https://www.instagram.com/2020americamatters/

    1. avatar Craig in IA says:

      Call the Congressional Switchboard and message your rep: 202-224-2131. Either Senate or Reps. Best to know the names of them first… Speak to a live person, don’t be rude, let them know how a specific proposal you are speaking to will directly affect YOU. Don’t get into the “rights” weeds, make it personal. And know the proposal you’re talking about.

  9. avatar former water walker says:

    Support ILLinois and I’ll care NRA! Signed: Just another NRA domestic terrorist(until next May!)

  10. avatar jbob says:

    Connecticut, home of Kello vs. New London and all forms of other unconstitutional BS.

  11. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    As the following AP report details, Big Green is getting support from a group of states, Congresscritters and the National Rifle Association in their appeal of the Connecticut court’s ruling.

    While that is all well and good, the really important detail is whether or not the United States Supreme Court supports Remington.

  12. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Speaking of the Supreme Court,anyone heard if RBCommieberg kicked yet,then the Commiecrats will be pissing and moaning to no end.
    The Commiecrats begged her to retire under Obama but she wouldn’t hear of it.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Ruth want Hillary to replace her. Maybe she didn’t want Obama picking a liberal she didn’t like.

  13. avatar Pete says:

    “and alleging it targeted younger, at-risk males in marketing and product placement in violent video games.”
    Um, like the shooter’s mother?

  14. avatar MtnDewey says:

    I will not rejoin NRA until ALL infringements are gone. GOA only, the NRA is imploding. Once they’re gone the GOA will be next…everyone is suing everyone anymore.

    1. avatar Batteyrcap says:

      Your choice. I am stepping up when the chips are down. The most effective voice, the most organized voice, the broadest voice, is that of the NRA. They have been there and will be there when the Soros trolls and the masses pissed that someone else makes more money than them are gone.

    2. avatar Craig in IA says:

      “I will not rejoin NRA until ALL infringements are gone. GOA only, the NRA is imploding.” All the infringements??? You have a hell of a long wait, of course it also saves you money.

      NRA is only “imploding” here and on Ammoland. The haters are subjecting NRA to exactly the same type of “scrutiny” the left did with Kavanaugh, or in the same vein as the ERPOs the haters all claim to believe are a breach of due process. So, for all you clammoring for the demise of NRA: join right in with the left, that’s been what Steyer and Bloomberg have wanted all along and you’re taking the bait.

      I believe in the end NRA (and WLP) will be exonerated completely, not that it’ll matter with the anti-NRA wonks. Look at Trump- zero collusion, etc. and the idiots still are trying to make something out of it. Certainly neither NRA itself nor WLP have been convicted of anything illegal.

      The real effort by the left is to tie NRA up so they won’t be a player in the 2020 elections. It won’t work. And BTW- there is no way possible that GOA, the NAGRs or any other of the “no compromise gun groups” will ever be more than bit players, even, and especially if NRA were to fold. They, and most of the supporters around here would never even know where to start. Dream on…

  15. avatar Paul Hurst says:

    How exactly did Bushmaster market this gun to school shooters?

    Never mind the shooter obtained it by murdering the owner and stealing it.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Yup.

      If the firearm was stolen, not purchased, it is difficult to see how the marketing of the product is relevant.

  16. avatar grumpster says:

    If this lawsuit is allowed to succeed then it will impact almost everyone. Next will be manufacturers that make alcoholic beverages and auto makers for the carnage that drunk drivers cause.

  17. avatar Kevin Jones says:

    So this means that we can sue Ford, GM , honda CRT when there cars kill people these IDIOTS need to grow up. Total Bull Shit.

  18. avatar FormerParatrooper says:

    Larry the cable guy will finally be able to sue Hustler for carpal tunnel syndrome

  19. avatar Jim Warren says:

    Funny how lawyers don’t understand why lawyer jokes start of with a bus accident or a sinking boat.

  20. avatar G. W. says:

    The SCOTUS has ruled that authorities are not legally required to protect the safety and rights of the individual. That leaves the individual responsible for their own protection by default. The state AG should bring charges agist the people (parents and school board and staff) for being negligent in their failure to properly protect the school, staff, and the children also, it should be pointed out that Biden is responsible as it was his bill that made school gun-free zones (killing zones).

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      That won’t bankrupt a gun company so they won’t consider it

  21. avatar GS650G says:

    So they are going to convince a jury that the marketing of the gun was the reason dipshit killed his mother and murdered children with it? Was the market somehow specifically aimed at triggering psychos?
    Of course not. They want this in front of a jury , get a verdict, then go for a few billion in damages. An appeal will go in front of liberals and be rejected. All the while burning money.

    This may end up on the SCOTUS eventually.

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