Back in October of last year we talked about one bit of good news on the Second Amendment front which came when a court threw out a frivolous lawsuit brought by family members of victims of the Sandy Hook mass shooting. They were attempting to hold Remington Arms, the parent company of the manufacturer of the weapon used in the attack, accountable for the damage inflicted by the deranged shooter. The court correctly found that the lawsuit was without merit because it flew in the face of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). Now, five months later, the same group of plaintiffs is attempting to resurrect the suit from the dead according to local news.
The 10 families whose lawsuit against the world’s largest dealer of AR-15 rifles was dismissed last year say their case should be reinstated, arguing that the Sandy Hook massacre was no accident.
“The notion that what happened at Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012, was unimaginable is a lie,” argues the families’ lawyer, Josh Koskoff, in 50-page brief submitted to state Supreme Court this week. “Sandy Hook was simply gratuitous, senseless proof of what was already known: preparation is no match for an AR-15.”
Generally, when you see a case such as this being dredged back up it’s because the attorneys for the plaintiffs have come up with some new, fresh approach which the judge might look more favorably upon. From the sound of things that’s not what’s happening here. The lead attorney, Joshua Koskoff, is making the same set of tired and already debunked arguments which were the premise for his suit initially. Arguing that Remington is somehow responsible for what is done with one of their products which was legally sold to an eligible purchaser is a dead-end. His other point is to continue claiming that the AR-15 rifle is a “weapon of war” which the manufacturer should never have been allowing into the hands of private citizens.
Over at Bearing Arms, our colleague Bob Owens explains why the entire “weapons of war” argument is also a dry hole.
Koskoff is of course lying, not to mention historically ignorant. Civilians have typically had much greater quality weapons with greater firepower than the military throughout most of American history, without significant issue.
The first AR-15s were sold on the civilian market to sportsmen several years before the U.S. military adopted the M16 as a general-issue rifle. AR-15s have been sold to civilians for more than half a century, and they are not “weapons of war,” as no major military has ever issued them. The militaries of the world have always used selective-fire variants of the M16 rifle and M4 carbine that are restricted under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and which have not been manufactured at all for the civilian market in 31 years, thanks to the Hughes Amendment to the Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) in 1986.
Liberals who oppose Second Amendment rights would dearly love to see this case come back to life and succeed. Unable to actually remove the Second Amendment from our Constitution, the next best thing they could do would be to drive American manufacturers of firearms out of business. That’s obviously the goal here, since allowing a massive settlement against Remington Arms would open the door to a cascade of similar lawsuits against every other manufacturer in the country, if not the entire world.
Fortunately for all of us, I don’t think we’ve reached the point where the judicial system will entertain such nonsense. At least not yet. This is yet another reason why we should be grateful that someone like Neil Gorsuch is going to be taking a seat on the nation’s highest court.