After the attack at Sandy Hook, one question remained. Will the gun manufacturer be held liable for the injuries the children suffered? The company provides military-style guns to civilians, an act that many families have claimed led to the severity of the attack.
The attack in Newtown, Connecticut, resulted in 26 people being killed, both children and adults. Adam Lanza had used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which the company claims is protected against liability claims thanks to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Imagine that those children or adults had been your family members; while the person who attacked them was obviously the most at fault, wouldn’t it also be likely that the person who sold that individual a gun should be held responsible? If it had been harder to purchase, or even made less attractive to buyers, it may not have been in his hands to begin with.
The families in Sandy Hook feel this way and claim that the marketing used is too positive; it shows civilians in action poses as well as camouflage-wearing soldiers and police. Images show off the gun’s military-proven performance, making it questionable if the gun is safe for civilian usage. It’s a combat weapon; should it be limited to police and military purposes? The high-caliber rifle has rapid-fire capabilities.
While the case may not have much footing, it’s far from a lost cause. Negligent entrustment is one claim that has been able to win against the PLCAA in the past, and it could work again. This is the claim that the company is not making reasonable attempts to keep the gun out of the wrong hands. Evidence would be necessary to prove that the retailers sold the gun to someone who was mentally unstable or who was a criminal.
Source: The Atlantic, “Will a Gun Manufacturer Be Held Liable for Sandy Hook?,” Mark Obie, Feb. 17, 2016