CT Supreme Court: Sandy Hook Families Can Sue Gun Manufacturer

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Posted: Mar 14, 2019 2:30 PM
CT Supreme Court: Sandy Hook Families Can Sue Gun Manufacturer

Source: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File

 In December of 2012, Adam Lanza murdered his mother, stole her firearms, and drove to Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut and killed 20 school kids. It was a national tragedy, but one that spurred a wave of anti-gun activism from the Left. Obama was in office and he wasted the most precious moments of his second term fighting for gun control measures that were never going to pass. The Left went big at the federal level and lost. Now, they’ve scaled back, looking to accomplish modest reforms at the local and state level. It’s paid off. After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last February, this crew was able to get two Republican and pro-National Rifle Association governors, Florida’s Rick Scot and Vermont’s Phil Scott, to sign laws that increased the age to purchase any firearm. You must not be 21 to buy either a handgun or a rifle, whereas for years the law was 18 for long guns and 21 for handguns. In Vermont, a high-capacity magazine ban was also signed into law. Never let our guard down, folks because as you can see, even A-rated NRA and Republican governors can betray us. 

For years, the families of the Sandy Hook victims were trying to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle that Lanza used. Similar lawsuits had been rejected due to the Protection Of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed in 2005 under George W. Bush, which prevented these sorts of lawsuits since it was a backdoor way or gutting Second Amendment rights. The Left knows it probably can’t confiscate all guns, but they can bankrupt their makers through lawfare. Now, the Connecticut Supreme Court says the lawsuit could move forward (via NYT):

The Connecticut Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the firearms industry on Thursday, clearing the way for a lawsuit to move forward against the companies that manufactured and sold the semiautomatic rifle used by the gunman in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The ruling allows the lawsuit brought by victims’ relatives to potentially go to trial, which could force gun companies to turn over internal communications that they have fiercely fought to keep private and provide a revealing — and possibly damaging — glimpse into how the industry operates.

The court agreed with the lower court judge’s decision to dismiss claims that directly challenged the federal law shielding the gun companies from litigation, but found the case can move forward based on a state law regarding unfair trade practices.

Justices wrote in the majority opinion that “it falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet.”

The decision represents a significant development in the long-running battle between gun control advocates and the gun lobby.

[…]

The ruling comes as yet another twist in the lawsuit’s circuitous path through the court system, one that continued far longer than many, including legal experts and the families, had initially expected.

The ruling had been delayed after Remington, the manufacturer and one of the nation’s oldest gun makers, filed for bankruptcy last year as its sales declined and debts mounted.

The lawsuit, brought by family members of nine people who were killed and a teacher who was shot and survived, was originally filed in 2014, then moved to federal court, where a judge ordered that it be returned to the state level.

Now, the PLCAA isn’t an all-powerful shield. Gun companies can still be sued over defective products that lead to safety hazards and activities that fall within negligent entrustments, like any instance where the company knows their firearms are going to be involved in felonious activity. Still, this is why we can never let our guard down. The Left is organized. They have their lawyers as do we—and they’re always looking for ways to shred our constitutional rights in the name of progressivism. We’ll keep you updated.