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Lawsuit Could Change How We Prosecute Mass Shootings

Politico “…the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed a claim brought by surviving family members of the Sandy Hook massacre against the manufacturers, distributors and direct sellers of the weapon to move forward toward trial. Soto v. Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC, has monumental implications not only for the surviving families, but potentially for the entire gun industry.

The Connecticut court’s 4-3 decision in favor of the plaintiffs offers a blueprint for overcoming a federal law that offers sweeping protection for the gun industry. In 2005, Congress enacted the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), an unprecedented decree that swamps state tort law and rules out most claims that might otherwise be brought against gun manufacturers and retailers. The law was enacted in response to then-recent judicial developments. A few courts had allowed cities to sue gun sellers under a theory of public nuisance, the core of which was that the defendants had pumped guns into the city through aggressive and misleading marketing, and had then increased the danger by irresponsible sales to unqualified buyers. Other courts were also beginning to allow victims’ tort claims against gun sellers to move forward….”

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