NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) expressed their opposition Tuesday to reports that Remington, the manufacturer of the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle used in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has reaffirmed its intent to have a lawsuit filed against them dismissed.
According to reports, the business plans to invoke the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 as protection from lawsuits by the families of victims from the tragedy.
"These families are simply seeking a fair day in court to hold accountable the makers of the assault weapon used to kill 20 beautiful children and six great educators,” Blumenthal said. “These are weapons designed for one purpose – to kill and maim. The Sandy Hook victims deserve the opportunity to make their case – present evidence of reprehensible and irresponsible practices employed by gun manufacturers. Their case should be allowed to go forward to a trial – not blocked by misapplication of a misguided law."
The law protects firearms manufacturers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products.
“Families who have suffered from gun violence deserve a right to seek justice under the law,” Murphy said. “Even though Congress has so far failed these families and refused to take action to reduce gun violence, I hope that our justice system will not. These families should receive their day in court. Meanwhile, I’m hopeful that my colleagues in Congress will work with me on legislation that gives the gun industry real incentives to make their products safer.”
Blumenthal, Murphy, and Esty are sponsors of the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would repeal the 2005 law.
“The family members who lost loved ones in the tragedy at Sandy Hook deserve for this case to be decided based on its merits,” Esty said. “In no other industry do we make it so easy for manufacturers to try to escape accountability when their negligence costs lives or harms public health. Awarding gun manufacturers immunity from liability doesn’t just deny justice to victims – it also removes incentives for gun manufacturers to make their products safer and, ultimately, makes future tragedies more likely. This trial should move forward.”
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