Legal Issues

Collective Punishment 2019

Gavel with American flag

On pie day, in a 4:3 vote, a court granted anti-gun advocates a Holy Grail item. They were handed the keys to the kingdom to sue every gun manufacturer and put them out of business.

In litigation stemming from the Sandy Hook shooting, a Superior Court reinstated the wrongful death suit against Remington. Dirtbag #11 chose to utilize a Bushmaster AR for his carnage.

A lower court previously dismissed the suit as being prohibited by the 2005 federal law (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act) against such suits. The basis of that law is that a manufacturer is not responsible for the illegal end use of its products by a customer.

Remington Logo
In litigation stemming from the Sandy Hook shooting, a Superior Court reinstated the wrongful death suit against Remington.

Here are a couple of non-gun-related examples of how the 2005 law would work. It would not protect a tobacco or alcoholic beverage company intentionally marketing its products to minors, as that would be an attempt to circumvent other existing laws. It would protect Ford and Dodge from DUI lawsuits or Duct tape from liability in kidnapping attempts. Remington would be no different from Ford or Duct tape in this case.

The appeals court invalidated that law, which was specifically passed to protect gun companies from such legislation. As I am sure most of you are aware, Dirtbag #11 murdered his mother to obtain the Bushmaster in question. Thus, he did not purchase the firearm from Remington or an authorized reseller of Remington products. He literally committed murder to procure the product and the court determined that as Remington’s fault because of “aggressive advertising practices.”

Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority, “The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers.”

The court also referenced Dirtbag #11’s deteriorating mental health, his preoccupation with violence and death as a reason for not allowing him to have access to firearms. That Dirtbag #11 should not have had access to firearms is correct, but how is that a fault of Remington? Again, he murdered his mother when she denied him access to her legally owned firearms.

This must and will be overturned. However, that is not the true issue here. The continued financial drain of fighting these lawsuits, bad press, and necessity of Remington to focus so much corporate energy on fighting this are the true penalty. The process is the penalty.

When this wrings itself out, our shortsighted federal lawmakers need to include an enforcement clause for such “process as penalty” suits. When the claim eventually is dismissed, the plaintiff should pay the defendant’s legal fees in triplicate, possibly adding in lost sales, goodwill, and other associated costs. If the plaintiff is not deep-pocketed enough to shoulder that burden, it must fall on the shoulders of the lawyers bringing the banned suit.

I won’t even talk about the cost of the tar and feathers for the activist judges involved.

How do you think the judge’s ruling, and the threat it poses to manufacturers of firearms, should be handled? The proverbial tar and feathers? The ballot box? Information campaigns? Share your answers in the comment section.

About the Author:

John Bibby

John Bibby is an American gun writer who had the misfortune of being born in the occupied territory of New Jersey. His parents moved to the much freer state of Florida when he was 3. This allowed his father start teaching him about shooting prior to age 6. By age 8, he was regularly shooting with his father and parents of his friends. At age 12, despite the strong suggestions that he shouldn’t, he shot a neighbor’s “elephant rifle."

The rifle was a .375 H&H Magnum and, as such, precautions were taken. He had to shoot from prone. The recoil-induced, grass-stained shirt was a badge of honor. Shooting has been a constant in his life, as has cooking.

He is an (early) retired Executive Chef. Food is his other great passion. Currently, he is a semi-frequent 3-Gun competitor, with a solid weak spot on shotgun stages. When his business and travel schedule allow, you will often find him, ringing steel out well past 600 yards. In order to be consistent while going long, reloading is fairly mandatory. The 3-Gun matches work his progressive presses with volume work. Precision loading for long-range shooting and whitetail hunting keeps the single-stage presses from getting dusty.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (17)

  1. Seattle socialist
    Then all of you will loose your rights to drive your Prius’ or other strip mined for battery cars as well. If private property can be confiscated, your toy car and your house will follow suit. I think we should take your logic one step further and ban the practice of medicine. 250K people die from Malpractice every year only roughly 40K each be Firearms and Auto’s. Next will come more of King counties blatant stupidity and let’s outlaw cars as someone may drive drunk 10 years into the future. Good grief! How about this; every time a mass shooting occurs, lets punish those who made the “Gunn free zones” and lets prosecute for malfeasance the govt. employee or employees who did not do their jobs and allowed it to happen. Or maybe as an accessory in the case of the coward from Broward.

  2. Seattle Socialist, stirring the pot as usual. For all readers that don’t know, he is a hard core MAGA boy that thinks himself a clever fellow. As for the article subject matter, the Mother of Dirt bag #11 is actually responsible for the shootings and it has nothing to do with ownership of the firearms. She brought the dirt bag into the world and that is a fact. No birth, no dirt bag. Let’s put the blame where it really belongs and leave Remington arms alone. I mean this just takes a little common sense to arrive at the responsible party.

    1. Well, so I finally encountered someone with enough primitive cunning to realize that the only way to insult me that actually offends me is to imply that I’m one of you treasonous Trump supporting Russia and NRA morons. Well played, for a moron.

      Naw, every time the firearms industry even remotely implied that buying an AR or other militarized semi-auto made you manly, and not announced to the world you need Viagra, they encouraged the mentally unstable to commit crimes, and so should be responsible for any deaths. Keep one thing in mind. Whether the 2A provides a personal right to own firearms, there is no debate that it does not guarantee a right to sell weapons for profit. We can repeal that stupid law blocking lawsuits against gunmakers, and if the Supremes rule that the 2A protects gun manufacturers as well, they will establish precident to ban all state laws regulating abortion clinics.

  3. I like the author’s resolution suggestion in the final paragraphs. It is the only just conclusion to such disregard of the Constitution. Elected officials and appointed judges need to be held accountable for such stupidity.

  4. Left wing judiciary allowing their political beliefs override laws and common sense.
    Recall the morons.

  5. Only if the “aggressive advertising practices” specifically focused on using their product for illegal purposes could Remington, in the farthest reaches of logic, be considered liable. Similarly, if Ford advertised its Explorer as being well-suited for driving through a crowd, then they could be cited if someone actually bought one and did that. Absent that proof of illegal intent, there is no way they can be liable. When Remington wins this suit, they could counter-sue whomever initiated it for legal fees and damages.

  6. So looking forward to January 2021, when a Democratic president is sworn in, with a Democratic House and Senate to back then up. Arms merchants will lose their special rights, center-fire semi-automatic rifles will become NFA weapons just like machine guns, and that NFA tax stamp will become an annual fee, not a one time cost. Going to be so nice to watch all you right-wing nut-jobs losing your toys and manhood compensators because you chose to make guns a partisan issue, and backed the losing party.

    Oh yeah, I love the Socialist Revolution that is sweeping the coasts!

  7. The first thing socialists, communists, and dictators do is take away the people’s right to keep and bear arms. Venezuelans lost the right to bear arms and now look at the chaos down there.
    This struggle is not about the guns, it’s about control. The proponents of gun control want political control, a.k.a. power over the people. The way to get that is by taking away the ability to defend against an oppressive government.

  8. Well if this is allowed to stand then I can sue GM or Ford if a drunk driver hits me with his car. I would think a law suit against one of those giants would get this law over turned??

  9. As an owner of a business I am well aware of the possibility of a law suite arising from something we did or did not do in the course of commerce. Lets look at the idea of product warranties; since we (America) have been doing business with certain oversea manufactures, suppliers have been more or less adopting that foreign countries idea of buyer beware. Once product is sold it is in the sole responsibility of the buyer and relieving the manufacture or previous owner any liability in the use or function of that product or any legal fallout stemming from that product or it’s use. Most of our suppliers now do not have a warranty for parts and those that do have very well worded warranty that leaves them off the hook or they have a third party insurance company that you have to go to get your refund on the possibly warranted part. These arrangements are upheld by some of the same courts that will have the desire to prosecute and or put that gun company out of business for things that cannot be controlled by any one except the person that has physical possession of that item. We must rapidly get involved with teaching our young people how to correctly process their thinking.

  10. The best thing we as individuals can do to show our support for manufactures rights is to buy a Remington firearm. Our voices may not be heard in the mainstream media but if the sale of Remington firearms skyrockets in response to this ruling, then our opinions will be clear.

  11. The anti-gun community claims aggressive advertisement from the gun manufacturers. There is no TV advertising, no newspaper advertising, no radio advertising, no billboard advertising. The only advertising I see from the gun manufacturers is from the hunting and gun related magazines. The aggressive advertising (negative) I see about guns is the media spouting on national news about shootings. Even then they give they usually claim how an automatic weapon was used to commit a horrible. In every shooting they report a semi-auto weapon was actually used, not an automatic.

    I wish they would take all their money, time and efforts in targeting in changing the mental health laws (HEPA) that prevent proper notification to the law enforcement. Almost in every situation there was warning signs about the shooter before they committed the crime. Every shooting cannot be prevented, but with changing the HEPA Laws a large percentage of the shootings can be prevented. Home Land Security was created after 911 to prevent terrorist attacks and they have stopped several attacks. If we can stop terrorist attacks before they happen, I think we can stop most shootings with proper notifications individuals who exhibit dangerous behaviors toward society.

  12. The problem with this desision, is that the court is essentially ignoring the fact that the weapon was contraband in #11’s hand. He did not own or purchase the weapon by any legal definition of ownership or purchasing power, he committed two felonies in obtaining the weapon in question. Exactly how is Remington could foresee the perp’s crimes? Realistically, no one could predict his actions. Remington’s relation to the shooter is tertiary at the very least, perhaps even farther removed than that. Remington’s advertisement wasn’t geared toward the perp by any stretch of the imagination.

  13. The Holy Bible states that in the “End Says” Lawlessness will abound. This is clearly seen by the failure to prosecute government employees at the highest levels (“Hillary”). It is manifested as well by the political drive to lessen prosecution and penalty of certain minorities. The cultural stance that individuals are not responsible for their actions is another facit of this problem. From the beginning God foretold the End. It will only get worse.

  14. It would be great if We the People could sue all those anti-gunners whose conduct has resulted in innocent civilians being killed/wounded/robbed, etc. Especially those who support open borders which allow criminals to enter over and over again, and to commit crimes while in our country.

  15. It ridiculous that the manufacturers can be sued. Like you stated car company’s are not sued when a person runs down people in a dui, also no one has ever sued apple when a loved one has been killed by someone texting and driving. I didn’t go after dewalt when I miss used their grinder and did serous damage to my thumb at work. I don’t understand where the world has gone when I was a kid there where bully’s and all that but my mother once told me that I’m the only one that can let these words hurt me. Also if I had a beef with someone we got in a fiat fight and that was that. Win or lose I never thought oh I’m going to go home and get my fathers gun and shoot people. All these mass shootings and stuff I believe should fall on bad parents and if you really want to get into it drug companies. Everyone is so over medicated these days. I’m just ranting at this point but I feel it’s bull^%$#t that you can go after a company because of someone’s idiocy. Less lawyers more open minded people sitting on the stands

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