Washington — Gun maker Remington said it will appeal to the Supreme Court an unfavorable state court ruling in a lawsuit brought by relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, arguing federal law protects it from being sued for crimes committed by their products.
Last month, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling in the lawsuit brought against Remington by a survivor and relatives of nine victims of the Sandy Hook shooting that said the gun maker can be sued under Connecticut law for how it marketed its assault style semiautomatic rifle. Adam Lanza, the shooter in the December 12, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, used that gun, a Bushmaster AR-15 style rifle.
According to a motion filed with the state court Friday, Remington said it would base its appeal to the nation’s highest court on a law Congress passed in 2005. Known as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, it protects gun manufacturers and dealers from liability when crimes are committed with their products.
In last month’s ruling, the Connecticut Supreme Court determined there is a loophole in that federal law that allows the Sandy Hook plaintiff to press their lawsuit against Remington.
That loophole involves claims alleging violations of state laws related to the sale and marketing of firearms.
Joshua Koskoff, the attorney for the Sandy Hook plaintiffs, said “this is a matter of law for the state of Connecticut.”
“As Connecticut’s Supreme Court said, its decision to revive the case stemmed from ‘the traditional authority of our legislature and our courts to protect the people of Connecticut from the pernicious practices alleged in the present case,” Koskoff said.
The attorney also said that Remington’s attempt to appeal the case to the Supreme Court “is simply another tactic designed to delay and prevent the families from learning the truth of what went on behind closed doors.”
“Fortunately for all of us, transparency is a cornerstone of our civil justice system, and nobody – not even Remington – is above the law,” Koskoff said.
Remember this was a Connecticut Supreme Court ruling on a Connecticut law. The court ruled that yes, this law could be applied to Remington. It did not rule that Remington did anything wrong.
All that will happen in the end is that the plaintiffs will owe Remington hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees in a few years. The PLCAA exists for a reason, and that reason is to protect firearms manufacturers from these very kinds of suits.
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