Brady Campaign Seeks to Overturn Sandy Hook Ruling Protecting Remington from Liability

(Photo: AP/Jessica Hill)

A drunk driver plows his Ford truck into a minivan carrying a family of six. Who is at fault for that accident? The inebriated driver or Ford Motor Company?

Common sense and legal precedent both tell us that it is the driver who is at fault, not Ford. He is the one who got behind the wheel after imbibing a rack of beer and a fifth of tequila. He is the one who imperiled the lives of the family.

Most of us understand this even though we are laymen, not lawyers. Yet, when it comes to firearms gun control advocates argue that the rules should change. For example, they believe gun companies should be held responsible when a firearm is stolen from its lawful owner by a murderous lunatic and used to kill 26 school children and staffers.

This is precisely what is behind the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s recent request of the Connecticut Supreme Court to challenge a judge’s ruling last year that dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Remington, the manufacturer of the rifle allegedly used in the Sandy Hook School Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012.

Last October, 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 frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers and sellers for actions taken by third parties.

Brady is appealing that decision, claiming that Judge Belli failed to properly apply the Act’s “negligent entrustment exemption,” which 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.

“The trial court broadly and improperly interpreted the law to provide far greater protection for irresponsible gun companies than Congress ever intended,” said Jonathan Lowy, director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, according to The Associated Press.

Judge Belli, in the ruling, said that the negligent entrustment didn’t apply because Remington never had any direct dealings with the shooter Adam Lanza. The rifle was sold to his mother Nancy, who purchased the rifle lawfully. It was stolen by Adam and purportedly used in the massacre.

Essentially, the crux of Brady’s argument is like saying that Ford shouldn’t sell F-150s because they’re big and therefore more dangerous than cars, and it’s only a matter of time before some drunk gets into one and slams into a family driving to Disney World. It’s ridiculous. In fact, it is so ridiculous that even former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said so while debating Hillary Clinton, who campaigned on repealing the PLCAA last election season.

“If I understand it, and correct me if I’m wrong, if you go to a gun store and you legally purchase a gun, and then three days later you go out and start killing people, is the point of this lawsuit to hold the gun shop owner or the manufacturer of that gun liable?” Sanders asked at the CNN Democratic Presidential Debate in Flint, Michigan in March of 2016.

“If that is the point, I have to tell you I disagree. I disagree because you hold people in terms of this liability thing where you hold manufacturer’s liable is if they understand that they are selling guns in an area getting into the hands of criminals, of course they should be held liable,” Sanders continued.

It’ll be interesting to see if the state Supreme Court accepts the appeal. Brady is pushing hard for it, getting various like-minded organizations and institutions to file amicus briefs. So far, The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and CT Against Gun Violence have filed briefs in support of the new hearing as well.

We’ll keep you posted as more news develops.

(Jordan Michaels contributed to this article)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Robert November 15, 2019, 7:33 am

    All of These Anti -Second Ammendment Scumbag Politicians can be the first ones to give up all of the Firearms that Protect Their Sorry Asses!,before They take them from Everyday Americans!

  • Mark From Bristol April 2, 2017, 11:42 am

    It’s far beyond time for We The People to go head hunting far left liberal pieces of garbage.

    • Hardtimez November 15, 2019, 8:38 am

      Your comment is why they want to ban all guns.

  • Joe M. April 1, 2017, 7:29 pm

    They cant for the same case and charges that they were originally found “not guilty” of because that would legally be “double- jeopardy.”

  • Luis Bonilla March 31, 2017, 6:40 pm

    How can Remington Co. know when and where any of their weapons are going to be used in a crime .
    How can a weapons dealer know what his customer is going to do with the weapon . He can ask , but does that mean
    the customer is going to be truthful ??? lol
    Can a Automobile manufacturer know when a customer will go and get intoxicated and drive one of their auto’s
    and crash into another auto and kill or cripple any of the passengers in the other auto ???? lol
    The lawyers will want that the law giving them the right to sue will also apply to Auto makers , and Alcohol distillers
    How about everything that is used by everyone when used to kill how about that !!!!!!!!!

  • Alfonso Alfredo Rodriguez March 31, 2017, 5:18 pm

    This would be like issuing speeding ticket at the Indy 500 and into the nuisance law suit type. Ambulance chasers at their best.

  • MIKE OKELLY March 31, 2017, 4:38 pm


    • Mark March 31, 2017, 5:39 pm

      Come on know,get your facts straight,she still has at least half a brain left.

  • derwurst March 31, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Sandy Hook was a false flag operation and the fact that a think tank in Salem Oregon put up internet ads for the supposed victims of Sandy Hook over 30 days BEFORE the supposed shootings in Sandy Hook is strange. Also the mass media using videos from a South American city school evacuation on national TV also raises multiple red flags. The supposed bodies were unable to be views by the parents before burial is also strange and the entire incident didn’t happened in my mind. But the court case costs for the trial should be paid by the plaintiffs if the case is ruled in Remington’s favor.

    • Hippy March 31, 2017, 4:26 pm

      Why not sue the UPS driver that delivered the weapon to the gun store –After all if he didn’t deliver it the store would never had sold it

      How Krazy can the Dumb O Craps get ??

    • Donnie Razier April 1, 2017, 2:07 am

      Your comments are STUPID, and just another component of FAKE NEWS! Those ads never came out a month before the shooting, and the families DID in fact view the bodies of the children victims. How do I know that? I am a family member of one of the victims, you idiot, crazy, feelingless azz hole! I assure you, you effing moron, it happened, and was real. I guarantee you it was real, and despite that, I am NOT in favor of more restrictive gun laws. Far more people are saved by guns in the hands of law abiding people. In fact, if more people, law abiding people has guns, the morons that kill innocent folks might think twice if they felt someone just might shoot back. That being said, the point of my response is that YOU sir are a feelingless ass to say, “It never happened”. Jerk!!

      • Jonny5 April 7, 2017, 2:50 am

        Ah, the classic April 1st wind-up. You, Sir, are a liar and a cheat and talking out of your hoop.

    • Patriot May 11, 2018, 7:35 am

      hey Derwurst..your tin foil hat is on way to tight,it’s cutting the flow of oxygen to your pea brain,oh ya,,also the 9/11 thing was a government job,,,,,rightLOL.dumb twit

  • Johnh March 31, 2017, 11:26 am

    I hope that this case come to trial with a Pro gun Judge. When the left bring their case they have to be able to prove that Sandy Hook was not staged. The can’t do that. Charges should be brought against all of those involved for this staged event.

  • Dan March 31, 2017, 10:35 am

    I am consistently amazed at the libtards ability to suspend all thought processes in their goal of screwing over the American People. Applying their “logic” those who are harmed by illegals should have the right to go out and run over a few without any legal recourse of the illegal’s family or penalty to the driver.

    Liberals should not be allowed to breed, IMHO, but they still do.

    • Hardtimez November 15, 2019, 8:46 am

      Uh, brady was a Republican brainiac. You should really read more

  • catfish252 March 31, 2017, 9:53 am

    The only reason the lawyers want to hold to gun manufacturers responsible is because they have deeper pockets than the defendant’s estate. As far as the comment “Remington “knows that civilians are unfit to operate AR-15s” but continues to sell them to the civilian market. I have never heard such an absurd argument. I’d like the lawyers to explain fully why civilians are unfit to operate AR-15s, why is the AR any different from some semi-automatic .22 rifles, they are basically the same caliber bullet, they will both fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. The difference is they look more threatening, but they are not any more deadly than a .22 rifle. Outlawing weapons based on their type/style or their looks will not make this problem go away. These people suing know this to be fact, they want to punish someone and since the Lanza’s are no longer alive they are untouchable. I would be behind this lawsuit 100% if I thought it would actually keep other people safe, but I am a realist ans understand that it will help no one, except the lawyers and their bank accounts.

  • millard fillmore March 31, 2017, 9:28 am

    Why is Gary Busey waving that AR-15 around in the accompanying picture?Seriously though,there is no lawful case here.I’ve yet to see a baseball bat manufacturer blamed when their bats are misused,as they are much more often than semi-automatic rifles are.The user is responsible for the proper or improper use of any product,including the can of beans your Aunt Jessy just beaned Uncle Fred with.As is obvious to any sentient being,the point is to damage gun rights,not to seek justice.

  • Dan March 31, 2017, 7:33 am

    Really! Just how stupid can some people be! He wants to make a name for himself! Spend someone else money ….. be better spend teaching people how to drive cars, and handle dangerous devices! Instead of blaming someone else for your errors!

  • Cam March 31, 2017, 1:35 am

    They need to pass a law that strips the lawyers that continually and negligently file these cases, be force to pay all the other sides lawyer fees and be stripped of their license to practice law.

    • MIKE OKELLY March 31, 2017, 4:40 pm


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