Sandy Hook lawsuit against Bushmaster dismissed

I understand the desire for some sort of justice in the wake of an atrocity like the Sandy Hook massacre. But it’s not justice when people and companies who had nothing to do with the actions of the criminal are punished. That is what the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was to prevent. And that is what it did:

A Connecticut judge has dismissed a lawsuit that families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims had filed against a gun manufacturer.

In her decision granting the company’s motion to strike the case, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis invoked a federal statute known as PLCAA, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

    The law prohibits lawsuits against gun manufacturers and distributors if their firearms were used in the commission of a criminal act.

    The families had sought an exemption through a claim of “negligent entrustment,” arguing the maker knowingly marketed and sold the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to civilians despite knowing it posed a risk when used outside “highly regulated institutions” such as law enforcement or the military. Remington is the parent company of Bushmaster.

    Bellis said the “criminal misuse of a weapon” by Adam Lanza means the action “falls squarely within the broad immunity provided by PLCAA,” adding that the arguments presented by the families do not fit within the definition of negligent entrustment.

    Joshua Koskoff, an attorney for the families, said in a statement that his clients plan to appeal.

    Hillary Clinton has explicitly said this law should not exist. It is my opinion that Hillary Clinton should not have a political existence.

    Those who need to know already know what the following means. If it’s not crystal clear to you then don’t worry about it. It’s not for you. It’s more fun and games for the NSA:


    8 thoughts on “Sandy Hook lawsuit against Bushmaster dismissed

    1. The PLCAA is like the Second Amendment. The written law itself does not provide the protection, but merely states that a legal principle that unquestionably applies to other products also applies to firearms. Lawyers are salivating at the thought that after the manufacturer of a firearm is held liable for the misuse of the product, it can be easily applied to other products. First to the manufacturer of an automobile used to deliberately run over someone, then to that manufacturer when the vehicle is used merely as an important part of a murder. And who’s to say this will stop there? If someone is murdered by a drunk wielding a shovel, can Sears or Seagram’s say how they should be distinguished from the auto maker?

    2. This lawsuit is the opposition’s answer to Heller and MacDonald, which explicitly stated that firearm types in common use could not be banned. Their argument is pernicious, essentially stating that government agents have more rights than citizens.

      • Are you positive that’s the case? As much as I have sympathy for the families for their losses from that atrocity, I hope they are held to be totally liable for all of the costs associated with this frivolous and vexatious lawsuit. Possibly add damages against their lawyer for filing it when he should have known better.

    3. I wonder if it dawned on the judge, or someone explained it to her in small words, what kind of precedent she’d set by ignoring the PLCAA.

      We’re not just talking guns here, after all. Could one sue Ford if someone used a Ford truck in the commission of a crime? How about Microsoft if someone committed slander and fraud with a Windows computer?

      • Actually, someone could sue Ford if a criminal used their truck in a crime. For example, someone injured by a drunk driver could be encouraged by MADD to sue Ford for not installing ignition interlocks in all their vehicles.

        No one has done that because it’s recognized by all that it’s a stupid idea. But it’s still a legal possibility. A somewhat small percentage of the population out-right *HATES* that people get to own guns with fairly minimal restriction in the US. And a somewhat larger portion doesn’t care either way, but is easily swayed by appeals to emotion.

        Almost nobody hates that people own cars in the US, though: Even those against our use of fossil fuels are OK with electric vehicles. So it’s very unlikely it would happen, but it’s still possible.

    4. There’s another industry that suffered from rapacious lawyers until it got explicit protection: small airplane manufacturers. The exact same approach was used against them: sue the manufacturer for any airplane accident, no matter the cause, no matter how old the airplane. It pretty much killed small airplane manufacturing in the USA.

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