Gun Folks: Here's more idiot liberal logic... Some of the victims of a school shooting are trying to sue the FIREARMS MANUFACTURER! Oh boy... Back in 2005 we passed legislation to prevent this, but the liberals are attempting to get around that somehow... No way, no how. Isn't it revealing that the officers who responded to the school shooting had in their hands THE VERY RIFLE THAT THE LIBERALS THINK SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE for the shootings? Hmmm... As if the gun could do it by itself... Unbelievable... Good gun, bad gun. Oh boy... Don't the liberals KNOW there are millions of semi-automatic rifles in the USA and we are NOT giving up any of them? Of course not... And don't the liberals KNOW that when a person purchases a firearm from a firearms dealer that they go through an FBI background check? Duh... And don't liberals KNOW that if a family contains a violent psycho that that psycho should be institutionized and not allowed to roam the household and street where there are firearms present? Duh... This lawsuit will NOT prevail. No way, no how.
By David Altimari
HARTFORD, Conn. — The lawsuit filed Monday by victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting, seeking to hold liable the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15 used in the massacre, will test the 2005 federal law designed to protect gun companies by using an exemption normally applied to car accident cases.
The lawsuit by families of nine students and adults killed and one surviving teacher who was shot several times by Adam Lanza will attempt to use what is known as the negligent entrustment exemption to the law. In a negligent entrustment case, a party can be held liable for entrusting a product, in this case the Bushmaster rifle, to another party who then causes harm to a third party,
"The court needs to decide whether they want to extend negligent entrustment from a retailer selling a gun to someone standing right in front of them to the theory that the manufacturer of the weapon is also responsible when the weapon they made is then sold by another party to a third person," Albany Law School professor Timothy Lytton said Monday.
Lytton, who has written a book about the history of lawsuits against gun companies, said an example of negligent entrustment would be the sale of a weapon by a gun retailer to a suicidal person. A negligent entrustment lawsuit would claim the retailer should have known not to sell that person a gun.
Extending that to the gun manufacturer is unprecedented. Because it has never before been brought before a court, it is difficult to predict what will happen, according to Dennis Henigan, former vice president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
"Most state judges will want to find a way to allow these victims their day in court," Henigan said.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed at Superior Court in Bridgeport claims that the Bushmaster AR-15 used by Lanza to kill 26 people, including 20 first-graders on Dec. 14, 2012, inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, should not be sold to the public because it is a military assault weapon designed for war.
In addition to Bushmaster, the lawsuit names Camfour, a firearms distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, where Nancy Lanza, the shooter's mother, purchased the Bushmaster in 2010.
"The AR-15 was specifically engineered for the U.S. military to meet the needs of changing warfare," said lawyer Josh Koskoff of Koskoff, Koskoff & Beider of Bridgeport. "The weapon was not designed for home defense or hunting. This weapon was designed to efficiently kill other human beings in combat."
But the lawsuit claims that Bushmaster is clearly aware that the AR-15 has become the weapon of choice for mass shootings.
"Time and again, mentally unstable individuals and criminals have acquired an AR-15 with ease, and they have unleashed the rifle's lethal power on our streets, our malls, our places of worship, and our schools," the lawsuit said.
Adam Lanza used the Bushmaster to shoot his way through the front glass of the school on Dec. 14, 2012. He was immediately confronted by school Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Scherlach. He killed them both as they ran into the hallway from a meeting room just outside the main office.
Natalie Hammond was in that same meeting and was shot several times but managed to crawl back into the room and barricade the door. Hammond is the 10th plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Lanza then entered two first-grade classrooms, where he killed 20 first-graders and four more school personnel, including two teachers, before killing himself with a pistol. Overall he fired 154 rounds from the Bushmaster in about five minutes.
Scherlach's husband, Bill, is one of the plaintiffs. In a statement released by a public relations firm, he said the lawsuit is necessary "to ensure that the gun industry is held to the same rules as every other industry."
"These companies assume no responsibility for marketing and selling a product (to) the general population, who are not trained to use it nor even understand the power of it," Scherlach said." I believe in the Second Amendment but I also believe that the gun industry should be brought to bear the same business risk that every other business assumes when it comes to producing, marketing and selling a product."
The other plaintiffs are the families of eight others killed: teachers Victoria Soto and Lauren Rousseau; Rachel D'Avino, a special-education teacher; and children Jesse Lewis, Dylan Hockley, Benjamin Wheeler, Daniel Barden and Noah Pozner.
Nicole Hockley, Dylan's mother, and Mark Barden, Daniel's father, declined to comment on the lawsuit during an appearance at the State Capitol with members of Congress to mark the second anniversary of the shootings and to reiterate the need for stronger federal gun laws.
Hockley has traveled to the White House and the state Capitol in Hartford to push for legislation, and she says there have been too many tragedies since then from gun violence.
"It's just not right," Hockley said Monday. "We are better than this as a people."
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed in 2005, generally shields licensed manufacturers, dealers and sellers of firearms or ammunition from civil action "resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse" of a firearm or ammunition, according to the Congressional Research Service.
There are six exceptions, including lawsuits brought against a seller for "negligent entrustment," defined in the law as "the supplying of a qualified product by a seller for use by another person when the seller knows, or reasonably should know, the person to whom the product is supplied is likely to, and does, use the product in a manner involving unreasonable risk of physical injury to the person or others."
The novel approach to suing the gun manufacturer in this case will surely be watched closely around the country and by lawmakers, Henigan said.
"I hope the Connecticut courts find a way for this lawsuit to go forward but if they don't it will be a powerful example of why we need to repeal the federal law," Henigan said.