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Supreme Court: Sandy Hook Families Can Sue Remington

By: Teresa Mull

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are free to sue Remington Arms.

GPM reported in March of this year that the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that Remington can be sued over the way it marketed the weapon used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 using a Bushmaster AR-15. USA Today reports that the lawsuit brought by the families of Lanza’s victims “contends that Remington…advertised the gun model in ways that glorified it to young people and that the weapon is inherently dangerous.”

Remington marketed the Bushmaster with the slogan “Consider your man card reissued,” which the plaintiffs in the case claimed “reflected a deliberate effort to appeal to troubled young men like Adam Lanza,” The New York Times reports.

A federal law from 2005 has protected gunmakers from being held liable when their products are used in connection with a crime.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court sided with the Connecticut Supreme Court, despite Remington’s appeal that it was protected under federal law.

Fox News reports:

The gunmaker argued that the state court's interpretation of the marketing exemption is, "intolerable given Congress's 'intention to create national uniformity'" with the federal law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). "As the dissenters below noted, lawsuits like this one are precisely the kind the PLCAA was enacted to prevent."

Remington noted in its petition:

"The decision will have immediate and severe consequences, exposing the firearms industry to costly and burdensome litigation. Thus, as a leading scholar on firearm-manufacturer liability has explained, the decision below will 'unleash a flood of lawsuits across the country.’”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.