Sandy Hook Victims vs Bushmaster AR15


Supreme Court turns down an appeal to proceed with lawsuit against Remington Arms

bushmaster-man-cardNovember 11, 2019: The high court turned down an appeal from the industry to review the ruling from the Connecticut Supreme Court allowing families of the Sandy Hook victims to proceed with a narrowly-defined lawsuit against Remington Arms.

The denial of the appeal rejects Remington’s argument that it should be protected from liability for manufacturing the Bushmaster AR used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 28, including 20 students of the school.

That argument hinges on the protections afforded the firearms industry under the Protection in Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. (this act was passed to prevent precisely this kind of litigation)

The crux of that argument is the suit’s assertion that Remington’s advertising of AR-style rifles glamorized them, making as the tool of choice for deranged attackers.

Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled- very narrowly- that liability was existent because Remington’s advertising “could be” violating state fair trade laws.

The “could be” is the key in this case.

Bushmaster AR 15

The National Shooting Sports Foundation issued a statement expressing their “disappointment” in the Supreme Court’s decision, but the NSSF quickly pointed out the fact that despite the order, there’s still a long way to go before Remington could be proven to have any liability.

As their statement explains,

223 Remington Cartridge
223 Remington Cartridge

“The case now returns to Connecticut state court for trial where the plaintiffs will need to prove that Remington’s lawful advertising of a legal product violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), the only claim remaining in the case, and that it somehow caused Adam Lanza to murder innocent victims. We are confident that Remington will prevail at trial. Nothing in Remington’s advertising of these products connotes or encourages the illegal or negligent misuse of firearms, or that Mrs. Nancy Lanza, who lawfully purchased the firearm two years prior to the incident, or Adam Lanza himself, saw or were influenced in any way by any advertisement.”

Indeed. It should be tough to prove that Remington violated Connecticut’s consumer protection laws by “marketing the XM15-E2S to civilians for criminal purposes” as was pointed out in the Connecticut Supreme Court decision. That having been noted, however, they still said “on the basis of that limited theory, we conclude that the plaintiffs have pleaded allegations sufficient to survive a motion to strike and are entitled to have the opportunity to prove their wrongful marketing allegations.”

It’s the “wrongful marketing allegations” that strikes fear into many in the industry.

American JuryIf a jury finds that positioning a firearm as solid enough for the military constitutes a “wrongful marketing allegation” and by extension has encouraged crazies to buy their products for heinous purposes, the very foundations of the industry could be shaken.

Mil-spec, after all, is the ultimate standard to which most equipment is held. Everything from firearms to clothing and backpacks is positioned as being “mil-spec”.

What this case seeks to do is turn the accepted standard for the acme of manufacturing (mil-spec) into a synonym for “perfect for killers”.

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Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

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