Supreme Court Will not Hear Appeal of CT case to Protect Firearms Manufacturers

Supreme Court Will not Hear Appeal of CT case to Protect Firearms Manufacturers
Supreme Court Will not Hear Appeal of CT case to Protect Firearms Manufacturers

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- On 12 November, 2019, the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of Remington Arms Company to a Connecticut Supreme Court decision. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled a lawsuit against Remington could proceed, under an exception the Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

This is a serious threat to the Second Amendment. If a firearms manufacturer can be sued, simply for selling legal products, most manufacturers can be destroyed by lawsuits funded by governmental organizations.

Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)
Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)

The purpose of the PLCAA was to prevent these types of lawsuits. Here are the purposes of the PLCAA as written in the act:

The purposes of this chapter are as follows: 

(1) To prohibit causes of action against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and their trade associations, for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended. 

(2) To preserve a citizen’s access to a supply of firearms and ammunition for all lawful purposes, including hunting, self-defense, collecting, and competitive or recreational shooting. 

(3) To guarantee a citizen’s rights, privileges, and immunities, as applied to the States, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, pursuant to section 5 of that Amendment. 

(4) To prevent the use of such lawsuits to impose unreasonable burdens on interstate and foreign commerce. 

(5) To protect the right, under the First Amendment to the Constitution, of manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and importers of firearms or ammunition products, and trade associations, to speak freely, to assemble peaceably, and to petition the Government for a redress of their grievances. 

(6) To preserve and protect the Separation of Powers doctrine and important principles of federalism, State sovereignty and comity between sister States.

(7) To exercise congressional power under article IV, section 1 (the Full Faith and Credit Clause) of the United States Constitution.

The act is necessary to protect Second Amendment rights. No manufacturer can withstand repeated frivolous lawsuits from deep pockets without any way to recover costs. Many of those filing these lawsuits were city and state governments with nearly unlimited tax dollars to use for the lawsuits.

The exception the four Connecticut judges used to justify the lawsuit was this:

(iii) an action in which a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, and the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought, including—

The theory to proceed with the lawsuit is that Remington violated the vague and broad Connecticut  Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA), which bans advertising promoting illegal activity.  In turn, that theory is based on Remington advertising, which stated its rifles were effective against multiple opponents in military type settings. The theory goes further, in stipulating the advertising was a proximate cause of the murder of children by Adam Lanza, after he murdered his mother to obtain the Remington rifle.

Essentially, the plaintiffs are arguing if the rifle had never been manufactured or sold, the children would not have been murdered, therefore the manufacturer is liable. They argue merely marketing the rifles was promoting illegal activity.

There is nothing necessarily illegal in opposing multiple opponents in military or civilian settings. There are numerous cases where AR15 type rifles have been used, legitimately, in defense against multiple assailants.

The case will now go to the discovery phase, an expensive process, exactly the type of expensive process the PLCAA was created to prevent. You might think the first order of business would be to ascertain if Remington in fact, violated CUTPA. That might not be the case.

The Connecticut court ordered the case to proceed based on their finding that Remington *might* have violated CUTPA.

This undercuts the PLCAA yet again. An actual violation may not required; mere the potential the defendant might have violated the law is enough for the case to proceed.

It appears the Connecticut Supreme Court worked very hard to find a way to allow the case to go forward, because a madman killed 26 people with a firearm.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Whodaty
Member
Whodaty

This is so wrong and dangerous on so many levels. Sad to see this from the SCOTUS. Hope Remington goes for legal fees.

tomcat
Member
tomcat

Irregardless of who wins or loses I suspect the price of guns and ammo is going to go up. If for no other reason than the companies will maintain a fund they can use to fight these unlawful acts. We have seen time and time again that the progressives make the rules, or change the laws, as they need to.

dave
Member
dave

perhaps SCOTUS wants this inane argument tried a lower court and destroyed at that level…?

StWayne
Member
StWayne

Dean — You always write great articles — and informative too! Thank you. And while I don’t always like the news you present, where rainbows and sunshine would be nice every once in a while, they nonetheless inspire the need for imputous. No call to action, and amazingly, nothing ever gets done. And now I see on the news where another hopeless teenager has shot up his school, who then killed himself. There is no way to control this kind of crazy, and gun control is the last thing that will work because — even despite an already amazing number… Read more »

willheavy
Member
willheavy

So, the issue is that marketing material from Remington described the situation that was “enacted” by the shooter, and therefore the marketing from Remington makes them liable for the actions of an “end-user customer” – despite that the “end-user” stole the AR-15 he used after murdering the rightful owner (no way for the owner to report the theft promptly, in that case). However, it is worth noting that the marketing was NOT for an AR-15. The specific marketing attached as “Exhibit A” in the motion to stay was for Remington’s ACR platform, which is incompatible with (ie – very non)… Read more »

fz07limited
Member

Thinking about this, lets argue it becomes precedent Remington looses (GOD FORBID)
Why then Car manufactures be sued because a drunk driver killed a family or both car manufacture and booze maker? This has tremendous ramifications across many manufactures.
The black robes got this wrong IMO

TEEBONE
Member
TEEBONE

Dean – I believe they will want to see a result from the trial that solidifies the “merits” issue, and they consider this case premature on that basis. As of this moment, the suit has not run its course and has not yet caused official “injury”. The reason I say this is that there are now four strong constructionists on the Court, which is enough to advance any case. That they didn’t speaks volumes in itself. From here, the suit will go forward, will be appealed no matter who prevails, and if the appellate court upholds a finding for the… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@TB, Good analysis.

Ryben Flynn
Member
Ryben Flynn

When Remington finally wins , I wonder if those suing realize they will have to pay all of Remington’s costs. I think if Remington loses in the CT Courts,and appeals to the SCOTUS, they will hear the case and slap down Connecticut for a frivolous lawsuit.

Mac
Member
Mac

So they won’t stop the lawsuit. If the manufacture looses they will appeal to the Supreme Court, which, is how it should be. They CAN NOT hear a case that has not happened yet.
Now if they fail us after that, then we will have a case to question the makeup and the constitutional makeup of the court.

tetejaun
Member
tetejaun

Manufacturers are protected by the PLCAA. Regardless what some anti-American, anti-gun democrat ‘judge’ says. The SCOTUS cannot be trusted because Roberts and Kavanaugh are weak and have aligned with the communist democrats before.
If ANY OF YOU had read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, you would KNOW all ‘gun control laws’ are unconstitutional and MUST be ignored.

At the 2016 DNC Convention, the anti-American communist democrats talked about their plans to be part of the communist one-world government. You KNOW all gun control laws are unconstitutional, so WHY do you kneel and comply?

Deplorable Bill
Member
Deplorable Bill

So this nut case kid, steals his mother’s gun then kills his mother and marches off to a grade school where he murders kids and it’s the gun maker that is at fault? When are the auto makers going to get sued for their part in enabling drunk drivers to kill people? This is insanity. Back when I was young there was a fella who got up on the U.T. tower and was sniping people. Back then it was normal for most anybody to drive around with a rifle or two visible in the rack in your truck. LOTS of… Read more »

tetejaun
Member
tetejaun

Odd that when the media showed pictures of the inside of some parts of the school, there were NO ammo casings, broken glass or bullet holes anywhere. Odd that the media showed the AR15 in the back of a car. Odd that the ‘dead’ kids have shown up at various events. Odd that the ‘parents’ were laughing and smiling as they approached the ‘crime scene’. Odd that FBI shooting reports show NO ONE was shot on 12-14-2012 in Sandy Hook, CT.

Treason USED to have a cost. Cowardice & inaction DOES have a cost.

Stuck in Commie Ct
Member
Stuck in Commie Ct

I knew a couple of guys that got passed the fence and said they were able to see into the school before it was taken down, both said it looked like the place was abandoned for years and there were no signs you would expect to see after an event of that nature. I went myself but didn’t go passed the fencing, looked In multiple windows with a pocket scope and like I was told, it looked like the place was closed for years and didn’t see anything strange other than that.

Deplorable Bill
Member
Deplorable Bill

Are you sure of this? How can I research this?

Arm up, carry on.

Mark 2nd
Member
Mark 2nd

These attacks WILL continue Bill. The United States has metastasized cancer. The demonic communist/demonRAT filth has spread beyond conventional (voting) treatment. This rabid disease falsely labeled “democracy” will, without a doubt, kill our nation unless we treat it with extremely heavy doses of radiation (fire) mixed with large chemotherapy (lead) injections. More than half the world’s population lives in or near poverty level another third live a little better but can’t really be called middle class. Then there’s the top 1%… Guess what most of them are involved in? I’ll give you a hint: It starts with a G and… Read more »

Deplorable Bill
Member
Deplorable Bill

As per T. Jefferson; The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants. There are plenty of tyrants. There are many, many more patriots. NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. Our nation is founded on the principal, among many others, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are life, liberty, the pursuit of happyness, the right of self defense, the right to keep and bare arms. The day is coming. The day is coming when evil is evil again… Read more »

GoBoy
Member
GoBoy

Auto makers advertise their vehicles have certain amount horsepower so they open themselves up to a law suit when their vehicle kills so.someone while speeding

Oldvet
Member
Oldvet

@Go…The self driving cars make them more direct line responsible too. If in the end Remington loses , what a can of snakes they will have opened !!!!