I’m virtually certain that our regular readers know about the current lawsuit filed by Sandy Hook families against Remington/Bushmaster. Their odd little legal theory — and seemingly bought by the judge — is that Remington is liable for the actions of Some Asshole because the company improperly marketed a military weapon to civilians (and precognitively knew that regions that buy guns may see thieves stealing them from honest folk).
Sensible people with some grasp of the law know that suit should have been immediately dismissed with prejudice under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The PLCAA protects firearms business from imaginary liability for the misuse of a weapon by some end user…
…so long as the company obeyed all the myriad rules, regulations, and laws that govern the manufacture and sale of firearms. Companies are still liable for defective products and unlawful actions.
These misinformed moneygrubbers claim that marketing an arm commissioned by the military to civilians is “negligent entrustment,” another exception to PLCA immunity.
We could note that the military didn’t exactly “commission” the weapon design. It was marketed to the military some years after it was designed, and it was a heck of an uphill battle for the military to finally adopt it. So to speak.
[Informed folk can skip a paragraph or two.]
In fact, the military variant, the M16 family, is not the same as the AR family of semiautomatic arms sold to civilians. The military version has some specified modifications not in the original AR, and is is fully-automatic (legally speaking; some variants fired bursts, which the feds still class as “machine gun”).
Every time some ignorant, victim disarming crime-enabler calls semi-auto ARs weapons designed for soldiers in war theaters, I ask them to show the army that deliberately chooses to generally arm its troops with semiauto AR-15s instead of assault rifles or battle rifles.
And every time… –crickets–
Back to the lawsuit. Part of the plaintiffs’ claim is that Remington deliberately marketed ARs to teenage boys. (This ignore the fact that The Asshole didn’t buy the AR he used. He murdered the lawful owner, an middle-aged woman, and stole her gun.
Nonetheless, a moronic Yalie thinks she can prove that claim.
This historian just made it likelier that Sandy Hook parents will be able to take Remington to court
To support sales Winchester embarked on what it characterized as the “greatest commercial venture in the history of this country, probably in the history of the world.” They never lacked for ambition. In 1920 alone, they spent close to a million dollars on advertising.
A centerpiece of this effort was the company’s boy plan. Winchester prepared a letter about the .22 caliber rifle to send to boys between the ages of ten and sixteen. They asked retailers to send a list of the names of boys in their towns, so the company could send the letter to them under the retailer’s name. The company intended to reach precisely 3,363,537 boys this way.
Yes. You read that correctly. TL;DR: The Sandy Hook Asshole was driven to murder, theft, and more murder by the fact that nearly a century ago Winchester did market firearms to boys (back when it was perfectly legal for boys to buy guns, generally unlike today’s legal environment.
Since children cannot purchase firearms from FFLs, it would be silly for Remington to spend millions marketing to them. In 1920, it made sense, but no longer. Much better, more profitable, to market to parents.
Once upon a time, Remington lawfully marketed to a profitable demographic. Now they don’t because that demographic is no longer lawfully accessible.
Can you think of an industry whose products are being provided to children legally too young to use the products as intended? And who is doing it?
Hint: Condoms, and other birth control products. By schools. To children below the age of consent.
I guess it’s OK to protect victims of statuatory rape from the consequences, but not right to allow them to defend themselves against the rape in the first place.
Ed. note: This commentary appeared first on TZP’s weekly email alert. If you would like to be among the first to see new commentary (as well as to get notice of new polls and recaps of recent posts), please sign up for our alert list. (See sidebar or, if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down). Be sure to respond when you receive your activation email!