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Friday, April 15, 2016

Judge Denies Gun Companies’ Motion To Dismiss Newtown Lawsuit

On Thursday, a Connecticut Superior Court judge denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that holds gunmakers and sellers liable in the Newtown shootings committed by an insane madman. The defendants in the lawsuit, which include Remington Arms, had argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). That 2005 federal law shields the firearms industry from liability for crimes that it had no part in, no advance knowledge of, nor any reasonable suspicion of facilitating. 

While attorneys for the plaintiffs celebrated Judge Barbara Bellis’ decision, the ruling doesn’t prevent the defendants from filing future immunity claims. But it could open the floodgates to similar frivolous litigation. And as we wrote last month, that outcome could be devastating.

“If this argument is successful, you could see gun manufacturers stop selling these guns (AR-15-type rifles) to the public permanently,” warned UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler.