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Connecticut Judge Throws out Sandy Hook Lawsuit against Remington

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Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara N. Belli.

A Connecticut judge last week threw out a lawsuit brought against Remington Arms Company by the families of those killed in the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara N. Belli explained in a 54-page memorandum that Remington is protected under the provisions of the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which prohibits lawsuits being filed against firearms manufacturers and sellers for actions taken by third parties.

Lawyers for the Sandy Hook families argued that Remington should be brought to court under the Act’s “negligent entrustment exemption.” This exemption stipulates that when a manufacturer or seller has reason to suspect a purchaser might commit a crime with a firearm, the manufacturer or seller has a responsibility to prohibit that purchase from taking place.

Sandy Hook families tried to convince the judge that, among other things, Remington “knows that civilians are unfit to operate AR-15s” but continues to sell them to the civilian market. In other words, Remington knows that at some point someone will commit a crime with one of their firearms, and they should, therefore, be subject to legal action.

Not surprisingly, the judge was unconvinced. She gave a number of reasons for her decision, but one revolved around the idea that “civilians” is too broad a social class to support a claim for negligent entrustment. Remington can’t be held liable for anything anyone in the world might do with their firearms. A gun maker could be held liable for selling a firearm to one individual they have reason to believe is dangerous. But Congress has decided that the American people are fit to operate AR-15s, so Remington cannot be held accountable for what civilians do with their firearms.

The families, of course, plan to appeal the ruling. “While the families are obviously disappointed with the judge’s decision, this is not the end of the fight,” Josh Koskoff, the attorney, said in a statement. “We will appeal this decision immediately and continue our work to help prevent the next Sandy Hook from happening.”

It’s hard to imagine they’ll get very far. Despite Hillary Clinton and the mainstream media’s best efforts to convince the country otherwise, the gun industry is not protected by a “shield law” or any other special exemption. Gun makers and sellers are subject to the same laws that regulate every other industry. Congress passed the PLCAA to protect gun makers from having to pay for wasteful, unreasonable lawsuits—not to give them special immunity when they break the law.

Ultimately, a manufacturer can’t be held liable for how someone else uses their product. Excepting certain special circumstances, that principle is at the foundation of our free market system. To subject gun makers to such suits would undermine the integrity of not just the firearms industry, but that of all other potentially dangerous products as well.

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • wasntme October 22, 2016, 10:09 am

    If this flies then any manufacturer will be expected to remove their product if anyone gets hurts by it. If they don’t and someone else gets hurt, then they are negligent because they already knew it was dangerous.

  • robert October 21, 2016, 5:27 pm

    A man was killed in a car accident when he accidently ran off the road. I guess people will sue automobile mfgs. because they cant drive very well.

    • Former Captain Cape Henlopenn October 21, 2016, 5:45 pm

      Exactly. More stupid ideas from the nanny state supporters.

      Next thing you know they will sue peanut farmers because eating peanut butter right before bed can cause nightmares.

  • Ivar Ivarson October 21, 2016, 2:36 pm

    It’s plain that several thousand pound steel automobiles powered by big engines simply CANNOT be entrusted to civilians and the auto mfg. companies are at fault for all accidents under a theory of negligent entrustment. This theory goes for anything sold that ever harmed anyone by its negligent or malicious use. Should be back to .015% of the population remaining living in caves in a few years after application of this theory.

  • Edgar October 21, 2016, 1:30 pm

    We can see where this can go if Remington had lost. The precedent would have been set and the next thing you know the government would be regulating whether or not you would be fit and trained to operated a Corvette or a Prius. Ofcourse Corvette would be sued for selling High Performance cars to people who were not trained to operate such powerful capable sports cars. Really….Do you need such a powerful car….wouldnt a Prius do the same for you. Essentially this is where we are going if we allow Gun manufacturers to be responsible for the bad things people do with a gun. It won’t stop; it will only open the floodgates of lawsuits. Use your imagination, if not sports cars, will it be Big Trucks ? Our country was founded on many freedoms and pursuits. Once we go down the path of allowing government to regulate….it is almost impossible to return back to where we were before. Good example is the sound suppressor regulation. The suppressor itself is a safety and comfort item. It is not sinister at all. But the Government has regulated the suppressor so much that they have made it much too difficult for 90 percent of legal owners to get. After many years we are now seeing some relief and it is easier to purchase one today, but it is still not as easy as it should be. Make no mistake, if they hold Gun manufacturer’s liable for the misuse of their product; EVERYONE will lose (not just gun owners) because it won’t stop with the Gun business, it will only be the beginning for many many imaginative lawyers.

  • Paul Goldstein October 21, 2016, 10:48 am

    Everyone in Sandy Hook who should’ve mattered in this tragic event — teachers, school psychologists, neighbors, friends of the Lanza family, etc. — KNEW Adam Lanza was deeply disturbed, yet his mother allowed him access to HER firearms. This is a repeat of the Columbine scenario — deeply disturbed teens with access to weaponry. And that access is the proximate cause of these terrible slaughters. Without access to firearms, Lanza and others could only fantasize about mass murder.

    Want to sue someone, tell the bereaved of Sandy Hook to sue the estate of the wealthy mother of Adam Lanza for wrongful death. Typically, it is the filthy lawyers who have advised the Sandy Hook families to target gun manufacturers, and thank G-d they, the lawyers, have had their ears pinned back by a correct ruling issued by a halfway intelligent judge.

    My sincerest condolences to the families who lost children and adult members. But all one has to do is look at the huge number of AR-15s and variants in the hands of responsible gun owners in this country and the infinitesimally small number of crimes in which these weapons are used. Sandy Hook lawsuits are transparent and disgusting attacks upon 2nd Amendment rights disguised (as always) as “public protection” by far-Left weaklings who prefer to take no responsibility for protecting their lives and property. According to their creed, it is the job of solely the police and the military to protect them. They are misguided, snoozing sheep who have consciously chosen to abdicate their responsibilities to protect themselves.

    And not everyone in this country is so sedated as they.
    You are welcome to disagree.

    • Steve October 21, 2016, 2:08 pm

      they already did. they won $1.5 million.

  • Nott October 21, 2016, 10:40 am

    I think its hilarious they are suing saying civilians can’t use this gun. If Sandy Hook did happen, and I don’t believe it did, then that kid who shot all those children was very capable of using this weapon just proving how easy they are to use. Funny No?

  • Mike October 21, 2016, 9:04 am

    Watch out Louisville Slugger, you’re company is next….

  • JS October 21, 2016, 8:53 am

    We are witnessing a slow motion Coup-d’état by the Democrats. If hil LIAR ary gets the office, it is all over but the crying. Whether you like Trump as a man or not, you must vote for him or vote AGAINST the hag. She sold favors as SOS, what will she do as President?? If you think Odumbo was not transparent, think how this old gal will be.

  • Sean0262 October 21, 2016, 8:00 am

    Well then, if the liberal millennials and all the other socialist folks out there want to be able to file lawsuits on gun makers. Maybe they should put there damn cell phones down while driving and start filing lawsuits against cell phone manufacturers. Since those cell phones are killing way more people than guns are here in America. I’ve been around guns all my life and I have never been injured by them, other than one time in military combat. However I am now a victim of a deadly cell phone attack. While riding my motorcycle I was viciously attack and rundown by a civilian using a cell phone while driving. Now I’m injured for life. I find it laughable that the social liberals are trying everything they can to take away our ability to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government. Because that’s what it’s really all about. Any fool can see that guns don’t even come close to killing as many Americans as automobiles, cell phones, and even home appliances. We all know what they want. And we all know what there afraid of. There afraid that we can defend ourselves against there Corruption of power. We all see it. And now we’re all talking about it. I swore an oath to defend the Constitution against both foreign and domestic enemies.

  • Ole Da Hammer October 21, 2016, 7:19 am

    UNLESS, if Hillary gets in, and puts in a liberal judge, if a case like this gets to the SCOTUS at that point, they will uphold it, and with that ONE decision the 2nd amendment is GONE. Make NO mistake, THAT is their intent!

  • Richard October 19, 2016, 11:09 am

    This is ridiculous! so what about the people who kill someone in a vehicle or a drunk killing someone!
    are you then going to try and sue the vehicle manufacturer because they sold a car to some body who was unfit to drive and killed someone! or the alcohol manufacturer because someone drank to much then got in their car and killed someone!
    My sympathies go out to the families of the sandy hook killings but you can not expect to get money out of the firearm manufacturer for the actions of some sick twisted individual!!
    And as for going after firearms again and getting media and politicians involved for their twisted agenda is pathetic!!
    Ask the friend person who lost a family member to a drunk driver and ask why they haven’t tried to sue or out law cars of booze for that matter!! fact is everyone needs a car and pretty much drinks so they wont go after something they don’t want to loose but because your not into firearms you want to take away a persons right to own and bear arms!! il say it again its pathetic!!
    do you really think these types of killings will not happen even if you took away all the firearms on the planet these sick people will find another way be it knife, bat, 4 by 2 rock bomb ect
    if you don’t believe me search the net for cases of where multiple people have been killed by sick people running them down with cars trucks ect but do you call to ban them? no you don’t!!!
    if you take away all law abiding citizens firearms your risk of being killed robbed raped beaten in your own home with go up 10 fold because you no longer have the right to defend your self from these sick scum that do these types of things!!!!!!!!

  • Christian October 19, 2016, 5:58 am

    This lawsuit is completely ridiculous and that is because of the stupid logic the families of Sandy Hook are following. By the way, isn’t it also ridiculous that quite 4 years after the massacre they are still trying to sue someone? I think these families are using the death of their children only to be in the media or trying to get money out of this. I am very much disgusted by this behavior. This is not about preventing another Sandy Hook. If they want to do this then they should do something against mental illnesses, mobbing at school, fight for better parenting and things like this. Don’t believe me? Read the book of Sue Klebold, “A Mother’s Reckoning”, if you don’t believe me, or any other book with such a topic.

    Now, back to their logic, they assume that Remington shall not sell its weapons because some civilians cannot use them properly and safely. But I have some questions about this logic:

    Can you sell pillows to civilians? Press these onto the face of someone and he cannot breathe any longer and therefore dies.

    Can we still allow cars to be sold to civilians? People are dying in car crashes way more often than guns and guess what, most people behind the steering wheel are civilians!

    Can we still allow kitchen knives to be sold to civilians?

    Can we still allow civilians to buy matches and candles or cigarettes that so often caused burning homes and the death of people?

    Can we still allow civilians of using electricity? So many people died by electric malfunctions, and the fires it can cause, as well.

    And last, but not least, can we still allow ourselves to actually LIVE? Life is full of dangers on every corner, yet we are not hiding in a cave so that nothing can happen to us, assuming that there will not be suddenly a rock fall inside the cave.

    I guess, according to the logic of the Sandy Hook families, it would be better if we just forbid everything and also forbid mankind, to make sure that nothing can happen to us any longer.

    • Ole Da Hammer October 21, 2016, 7:23 am

      If liberals hadn’t pushed emptying the asylums and putting schizophrenics on the street, instead of being institutionalized, many of these shootings would never have happened. Nearly every single mass shooting is done by either Muslim terrorists or the mentally ill.

      • Christian October 21, 2016, 8:27 am

        Absolutely correct. I haven’t informed myself much about Islamic terrorism, or terrorism in general, but in my free time I have studied a lot about school shootings because I am interested into this topic. There was not one shooter (Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook) that didn’t have a mental illness. Even the long periods of warning signs are quite the same but no, in the end they blame it all on guns. They do not understand, that it is a long way down for a person to get this low and that the only way out of his/her mess he/she sees is to shoot others at random and then commit suicide. I do believe that the democrats and all the others that use this number know this fact but they obviously have to keep silent about it, to keep their propaganda working. This is disgusting!

        • 2B or not 2B 2A October 24, 2016, 2:55 am

          Not to mention mental illness is known to be heriditary in nature. So when the asylums kicked all these disturbed people out many years ago without the ability to get help, or by “thinking” they were “let go into society” becuase they were cured, there offsprings offspring had a good chance of being born with this, or of like disturbia. Hence the many cases of violence and anger needing an outlet.

          • Christian October 25, 2016, 3:16 pm

            Personally, I am not sure about that offspring thing myself but I know that if your ancestors had already depressions and thoughts about suicides, you likely can (not must) experience this period once in your lifetime, although I do believe there is not even one person on Earth that never experienced this. I think it is something natural and completely normal, to sometimes feel depressive or even suicidal because something bad has happened to you but most of us can obviously cope with it, as there are always good times coming after bad times.

            Releasing mentally ill is of course a completely different topic. I mean, if you are declared to be too dangerous for society, how can you send these guys out on the streets again, after they have been locked up for years? I remember watching a documentation about supermax prisons years ago, where they have shown extreme dangerous prisoners, so dangerous that they were put into the single cells very deep in the supermax prison and they have become even more mad because they are just allowed to be out one hour a day and have absolutely no contact to anyone and this for a period of years. And I do believe the situation in mental asylums cannot be very different. I personally have never seen a mentally ill person becoming completely healed and that will be a normal guy like you and me again. Releasing people like this is like sending ticking time bombs to the people. Mostly just one simple thing is needed and you can fall back into your old behavior, same with alcohol addiction for example.

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