Hot! Landmark Legal Ruling: Sandy Hook Families May Now Sue Gun Company

Some of the families who lost children in the Sandy Hook shootings filed a lawsuit against Remington Arms in 2014 because one of their rifles was involved in the fatalities.

Image Credit: Mitch Barrie (Flickr)

Image Credit: Mitch Barrie (Flickr)

However, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act prevents gun manufacturers for being liable for the actions of their consumers, much in the same way that a car company cannot be blamed for a reckless or drunk driver getting behind the wheel.

The only stipulation to the law is “negligent entrustment,” meaning that if a gun firm or store knowingly sells a firearm to a person who is “insane, intoxicated, or would obviously commit a crime” then they CAN be held responsible for the damages the person causes.

The Sandy Hook families in this case believe the way Remington advertised the weapon makes them liable under this clause.

Since 2014 when the lawsuit was filed, the courts have been working to decide whether a lawsuit can actually be filed in this case. But now, a decision has been made.

As the Independent writes:

In a decision that could have huge ramifications in a country where up to 10,000 people a year lose their lives to gun violence, a judge refused a request by the manufacturer of the weapon to dismiss the lawsuit, and instead ruled that it could proceed.

Judge Barbara Bellis said the federal law protecting gun makers from lawsuits did not override the “legal sufficiency” of the claims by the Sandy Hook families that the gun used by Adam Lanza should never have been made available for sale to civilians.

Read more on this story here and here.

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