Sandy Hook lawsuit threatens the Second Amendment

The Sandy Hook elementary school shooting resulted in the deaths of 20 students and six adults on December 14, 2012.  The killer, Adam Lanza, used an AR-15 manufactured by the Remington Arms Company to do the killing.  The parents of the victims sued to hold Remington liable for the use of that semi-automatic rifle.  The suit was dismissed by Judge Barbara Bellis in Superior Court in 2016 because of the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), passed in 2005.

But now, on March 14, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision to reverse the lower court's decision dismissing the lawsuit.  The case, Soto v. Bushmaster, can now proceed to the discovery process.  It is here where the plaintiffs hope to find a smoking gun on how Remington marketed the AR-15.

The National Rifle Association see this ruling as a threat for Second Amendment rights nationwide.  It says:

Repealing or judicially nullifying the PLCAA has been a priority of the gun ban lobby ever since the law was enacted in 2005.  Thursday's decision, while not binding beyond Connecticut, provides a possible road map for those hoping to circumvent the PLCAA's protections against frivolous and untested claims against the firearms industry.

U.S. senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called the decision a "wow" moment in American legal history.  Reliving his glory days, Blumenthal hopes the discovery process in the Sandy Hook case will have a similar outcome to the 46-state lawsuit he helped lead as Connecticut attorney general against the tobacco industry.  Then, damaging revelations about what Big Tobacco knew and when helped drive a $246-billion settlement. 

There are several difference between firearms and tobacco.  First, firearms are a Second Amendment right; tobacco and cigarettes are not.  Second, the PLCAA provides specific protection from holding firearm manufactures liable for how their products are used.  Tobacco was not similarly protected.  By the way, the votes to pass the PLCAA in 2005 were not close.  In the Senate, it passed 65-31, and in the House 283-144.

Remington will no doubt take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In the meantime, the company will have to spend a significant amount of money to defend itself.  As of now, the gun ban lobby has won a major victory.  You can expect gun control advocates to make the most of it.

The Sandy Hook elementary school shooting resulted in the deaths of 20 students and six adults on December 14, 2012.  The killer, Adam Lanza, used an AR-15 manufactured by the Remington Arms Company to do the killing.  The parents of the victims sued to hold Remington liable for the use of that semi-automatic rifle.  The suit was dismissed by Judge Barbara Bellis in Superior Court in 2016 because of the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), passed in 2005.

But now, on March 14, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision to reverse the lower court's decision dismissing the lawsuit.  The case, Soto v. Bushmaster, can now proceed to the discovery process.  It is here where the plaintiffs hope to find a smoking gun on how Remington marketed the AR-15.

The National Rifle Association see this ruling as a threat for Second Amendment rights nationwide.  It says:

Repealing or judicially nullifying the PLCAA has been a priority of the gun ban lobby ever since the law was enacted in 2005.  Thursday's decision, while not binding beyond Connecticut, provides a possible road map for those hoping to circumvent the PLCAA's protections against frivolous and untested claims against the firearms industry.

U.S. senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called the decision a "wow" moment in American legal history.  Reliving his glory days, Blumenthal hopes the discovery process in the Sandy Hook case will have a similar outcome to the 46-state lawsuit he helped lead as Connecticut attorney general against the tobacco industry.  Then, damaging revelations about what Big Tobacco knew and when helped drive a $246-billion settlement. 

There are several difference between firearms and tobacco.  First, firearms are a Second Amendment right; tobacco and cigarettes are not.  Second, the PLCAA provides specific protection from holding firearm manufactures liable for how their products are used.  Tobacco was not similarly protected.  By the way, the votes to pass the PLCAA in 2005 were not close.  In the Senate, it passed 65-31, and in the House 283-144.

Remington will no doubt take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.  In the meantime, the company will have to spend a significant amount of money to defend itself.  As of now, the gun ban lobby has won a major victory.  You can expect gun control advocates to make the most of it.