Families of Newtown shooting victims file lawsuit against gun distributor and store

Families of Newtown shooting victims file lawsuit against gun distributor and store

[JURIST] Families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, filed a lawsuit [complaint] in the Superior Court of Connecticut Monday, alleging that the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the shooting were negligent. The lawsuit names manufacturer Bushmaster, firearm distributor Camfour and store Riverview Gun Sales.The complaint asserts [AP report] that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle should not have been made publicly available because it is a military weapon. Plaintiff Bill Sherlach said in a statement:

In business, measuring risk prior to producing, marketing and selling a product or service is standard procedure. For far too long the gun industry has been given legislative safe harbor from this standard business practice. These companies assume no responsibility for marketing and selling a product to the general population who are not trained to use it nor even understand the power of it. I believe in the Second Amendment, but I also believe that the gun industry should be brought to bear the same business risk that every other business assumes when it comes to producing, marketing and selling a product.

The defendants have yet to comment.

Several states have enacted new gun control measures in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many of which have faced challenges and lawsuits from advocacy groups. In January a judge for the US District Court for the District of Connecticut upheld [JURIST report] the constitutionality of the statue’s new gun control law, while still acknowledging the Second Amendment [text] rights of gun owners. Last December the same federal court dismissed [JURIST report] a challenge to the law that was brought by the Connecticut-based firearms trade association National Shooting Sports Foundation. In January of last year New York enacted [JURIST report] a law aimed at restricting gun and ammunition sales, and the National Rifle Association denounced the new law and indicated at the time that it would pursue legal challenges. Connecticut’s new measure was signed [JURIST report] into law in April 2013 and is considered one of the most far-reaching gun-control laws in the country. The law added more than 100 new weapons to the list of banned assault firearms and creates the nation’s first database of dangerous weapon offenders. A day later Maryland also enacted [JURIST report] a new firearms law, imposing stricter requirements to obtain a license for certain types of firearms. In May 2013 Colorado County Sheriffs filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit against their state’s two new gun-control laws, also enacted early in 2013. Those laws also included magazine capacity limits and increased scrutiny over those purchasing firearms.