By: Teresa Mull
Remington Arms is being punished for the heinous crimes of a crazed killer.
Parents of nine victims and a survivor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have settled with Remington to the tune of $73 million in a lawsuit alleging the way the firearms manufacturer marketed the gun used by the killer made Remington liable for the tragedy.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that the company’s marketing campaigns, which noted the rifle’s “militaristic” qualities, were in violation of a Connecticut law that bans deceptive marketing practices.
In August 2021, GPM reported that Remington had offered $33 million in a proposed legal settlement – $3.66 million in compensation to each of the nine plaintiffs connected to the massacre. But that wasn’t enough.
“The case marks the first time a gun-maker has faced liability for a mass shooting,” reports the BBC.
Fox 61 reports on a telling motive behind the case: not only does it seem the plaintiffs were seeking reparations for their suffering, but the case is also about dismantling the gun industry as a whole, as Attorney Josh Koskoff all but admitted:
“This victory should serve as a wake up call not only to the gun industry, but also the insurance and banking companies that prop it up. For the gun industry, it’s time to stop recklessly marketing all guns to all people for all uses and instead ask how marketing can lower risk rather than court it.”
As a result of mounting legal costs, Remington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2020, the second time the company was forced to do so.
President Joe Biden reacted to the settlement with a statement, saying, in part:
“This progress is the result of the perseverance of nine families who turned tragedy into purpose. They have demonstrated that state and city consumer protection laws – like Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act – provide an opportunity to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable for wrongdoing despite the persistence of the federal immunity shield for these companies.”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.