U.S. Supreme Court: Sandy Hook family members can sue gunmaker

By Shelby Talcott

Supreme Court justices said Tuesday that a lawsuit against Remington Arms Co., a gunmaker, filed by family members of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre can move forward.

The plaintiffs include relatives of nine people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and one survivor of the massacre that left 27 children and adults dead. The lawsuit asks the court to hold Remington liable for what the plaintiffs have described as the illegal glorifying one of the assault-style rifles used in the shooting to civilians.

Adam Lanza, the shooter in the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre, used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, an AR-15-style gun according to NBC News. After killing 20 children and six adults at the school, Lanza turned the gun on himself and committed suicide. Lanza is also believed to have killed his mother before heading to the school, according to a biography on the shooter.

The gunmaker argued that the lawsuit should be voided because the 2005 law Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects gunmakers from being held liable when their products are used for a crime. Tuesday’s decision from the Supreme Court rejected this appeal.

Previously, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in March that Remington would be sued for its marketing techniques. The ruling noted that there was an exception to this 2005 law. This decision overruled a lower court which had said that the lawsuit should not go forward.

This decision comes despite the fact that Lanza stole the gun from his mother, who had purchased it legally in 2010. The Connecticut Supreme Court admitted that the plaintiffs could have a hard time proving their allegation.

Lanza’s victims ranged from 6-and-7-year-olds to adults, and several others were wounded in the attack.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Tparlin

6 thoughts on “U.S. Supreme Court: Sandy Hook family members can sue gunmaker

  1. Remington had sought review by the high court, but the court declined, allowing the case to go forward in Connecticut, but it could wind up back in federal court due to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

    The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a United States law which protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products.


    Fox News is reporting that the high court’s order allowing the lawsuit to move forward in Connecticut “does not mean Remington or other gun manufacturers will face any immediate liability, but it does set the stage for potential court battles over whether or not the gun industry is responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre and potentially open the door to other suits in relation to other mass shootings or murders.”

    Lanza did not actually purchase the firearms used in the tragic shooting. The guns were purchased legally by his mother, Nancy Lanza, whom he murdered prior to taking her guns to the school, as noted by the New York Times in December 2012, while covering the shooting.

    Regardless of the outcome at the CT.SC level ,it will be back in front of the SCOTUS, as I read the law, (PLCAA),one may think it would preclude this type of court action.

    Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, which litigates against gun control laws, observed, “While the high court chose not to hear the case at this time, I am sure that if a final verdict goes against Remington it will be back before them.”

    “This suit is just plain wrong and should never have been allowed to proceed,” Gottlieb added.

  2. This is insanity. Using the same logic, it would follow that anyone killed in an auto accident can sue the car manufacturer because the driver was negligent. The inmates are running the institution.

  3. When the supremes decided to rule this “jobs programs” for lawyers valid over a already passed law protecting manufactures it signals the need to cull the
    lawyer herd…. and get some new untainted blood in the SCOTUS, the wide
    latina and bitterginsburg should retire or expire which ever comes first.. and stevens
    can follow suit..what a disappointment he’s been…

  4. These families (who they actually are isn’t covered) are not really against guns and deaths. They are after money, lead by crooked lawyers. If it was guns and death, they would be fighting to have laws that that would keep guns out of homes with guys who are known to be abnormal.

    Every single mass shooter has given warning signs that have been ignored. And no one wants to address that problem.

  5. Yes, totally asinine. I can’t wrap my head around it….unless the point is just that as individuals we can sue whomever we please? Winning the lawsuit isn’t guaranteed.

  6. What a crock, these so-called Justices are really showing their political leanings you might
    as well, throw the constitution out with the trash !!

    So to all manufacturers of whatever ” beware ” when you run your adds and embellish
    your products and some ” Wack Job ” uses it……….. you can get sued, per the SCOTUS.

    Auto-makers, Distilleries and yup your favorite Beer Companies, don’t forget cellphones
    ” texting ” you’re all up for grabs, in the courts !!

    You may spend millions on adds pushing your products, but if a ” Crazy ” uses it and kills
    someone, well it’s your fault and your liable not the perpetrator. Welcome to Liberal madness.

    GOD help us….

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