Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Connecticut Supreme Court Just Placed the Firearms Industry under Legal Threat

Joshua Roberts/Reuters
The U.S. Supreme Court must intervene.
Over the weekend, my colleague Kevin Williamson wrote an outstanding piece illuminating the ideology and opportunism behind a Connecticut Supreme Court opinion holding that the manufacturer of the semi-automatic rifle used in the Sandy Hook shooting may be held liable for violating state unfair-trade-practices statutes. The legal reasoning behind the ruling, if applied broadly, would directly defy federal law and could potentially deal a staggering financial blow to firearms manufacturers and sellers in the United States.
In the simplest terms possible, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that a lawsuit filed against Remington by the estates of nine Sandy Hook victims could proceed, based on the claim that the alleged “wrongful marketing” of the rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza “for illegal, offensive purposes was a causal factor in increasing the casualties of the Sandy Hook massacre.” If these words are read according to their plain meaning, it would seem the court is claiming that Remington literally advertised the weapon’s usefulness to criminals, but it did not. In fact, the court’s reasoning exposes the breadth of its ruling — and its direct threat to the First Amendment. Let’s break it down, piece by piece.
Under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), plaintiffs are generally barred from filing suit against gun manufacturers or sellers for criminal or unlawful misuse of weapons they make and market. The act is designed to reinforce traditional product-liability law and to protect gun rights from activist judges. After all, no one thinks that Ford should be held liable if a terrorist drives an F-250 into a crowd. Yet there are activists who believe that, say, Ruger should be held liable if a bank robber uses an SR9 to commit a robbery.
While the PLCAA is broad, it does allow for specific, commonsense exceptions. For example, suits can still be brought against a manufacturer if its weapons malfunction or against a seller if he “aids or abets” a person prohibited by law from possessing firearms in obtaining a gun. Critically, the PLCAA also contains a provision permitting suits if the manufacturer or seller “violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.”
Read the rest of the story HERE and follow link below to a related story/opinion:

The Bogus Lawsuit against Remington

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