A judge on Friday dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit by Newtown families against Remington, the manufacturer of the Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, citing a federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.
The families were seeking to hold Remington accountable for selling what their lawyers called a semi-automatic rifle that is too dangerous for the public because it was designed as a military killing machine, reports AP.
State Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis came to agreement with attorneys for Madison, North Carolina-based Remington that the lawsuit should be dismissed under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
Remington lawyers said Congress passed the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act after determining such lawsuits were an abuse of the legal system.
“While the families are obviously disappointed with the judge’s decision, this is not the end of the fight,” Joshua Koskoff, a lawyer for the families, told the AP. “We will appeal this decision immediately and continue our work to help prevent the next Sandy Hook from happening.”
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza reportedly fatally shot 20 children aged between 6 and 7 years old, as well as six adult staff members at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut.
In January, Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill in the Senate that would hold gun makers liable for crimes committed with the weapons that they produced or sold.
S.2469 would amend the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act to repeal provisions that “prohibit state or federal civil actions or administrative proceedings from being brought against firearm or ammunition manufacturers, sellers, importers, dealers, or trade associations for criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm by the person bringing the action or a third party.”
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“If you’re a carmaker and your airbags kill someone, you’re potentially liable,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) told The Hill in an interview. “If you’re a pharmaceutical company and sell faulty drugs, you can be held liable. If you’re a liquor store and sell alcohol to minors, you can be held liable.”
“Why should it be any different for gun manufacturers?” Schiff, one of the lawmakers behind the bill, asked.
Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple responded to Rep. Schiff’s comments:
Car manufacturers can be sued when their vehicles malfunction and cause accidents, not when their customers deliberately run people over or drive drunk. Pharmaceutical companies should be sued if a defective product poisons somebody, but not when their customers deliberately overdose on their meds to get high. And how does the liquor store example have any bearing here? Gun manufacturers have no way of knowing which customers are going to use their guns to commit crimes, whereas liquor stores can check ID’s to make sure their customers aren’t minors. Gun store owners have to run background checks, but that hasn’t stopped any of the recent mass shootings.
Gun companies should be held to the same standard as every other company. If they make a weapon that spontaneously blows up in someone’s hands under normal conditions, they should owe that person money. They don’t owe the victims of crime a single dime, and hopefully they never will. Could you imagine what kind of legal precedent that would set?
Joseph Jankowski is a contributor for Planet Free Will.com. His works have been published by recognizable alternative news sites like GlobalResearch.ca, ActivistPost.com, Mintpressnews.com and ZeroHedge.com.
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