Gun control has been a hotly debated topic in America as mass shootings become more and more common. The country has become divided on the issue with many arguing it’s their Constitutional right to bear arms. Gun supporters suffered a major setback Thursday when a Supreme Court ruled that families of Sandy Hook victims could sue the gun manufacturer.
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in favor of holding Remington, the manufacturer of the Bushmaster AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, liable for their marketing practices. The courts claim the marketing practices used by the manufacturer promote the firearm as “the ultimate combat weapons system.”
According to the Washington Post, the court cited any marketing of military-style guns to civilians could be violating state fair trade laws. The court added, “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.”
In 2012, Adam Lanza took his mother’s legally purchased AR-15 and killed her, then proceeded to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn, where he killed 20 first-graders and six educators.
The suit, which was brought by nine families of the shooting victims, argued the way the weapon is marketed led Lanza to choose an AR-15 as his weapon of choice. In numerous Bushmaster catalogs, there are soldiers in a jungle with a caption reading: “When you need to perform under pressure, Bushmaster delivers.”
They also argued the weapon “had been marketed as a weapon of war, invoking the violence of combat and using slogans like ‘Consider your man card reissued,'” The New York Times reported.
After the court ruling, James B. Vogts, a lawyer for Remington, said the shooting “was a tragedy that cannot be forgotten. But no matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost and those damages not suffered, the law needs to be applied dispassionately.”
Adam Skaggs, who is part of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, was ecstatic to hear the ruling, citing the decision is “a victory for the principle that no industry is above the law or above accountability.”
According to the Daily Wire, the case now heads back to local courts where they will make the final determination if Remington is to be held liable based on evidence.